The Brain That Changes Itself

By Norman Doidge,

Book cover of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Book description

An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed-people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Brain That Changes Itself as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I recommend this book to all people as a basic self-care exercise.

As a psychologist, I always support and empower clients to understand their own mind, body, and spirit as one of the important pathways toward overcoming psychological issues. The author, a leading neurologist, focuses on brain plasticity: the almost miraculous ability of our brains to adapt and change even after significant injury, by citing case studies with explanations that even lay readers can understand.

Our mind and body are interconnected, so learning more about the role of our brain is a good place to start. This book will open…

From Cathy's list on to equip yourself for living abroad.

Compelling and fascinating. This book educated me about the incredible workings and capabilities of our brain in such a way that was easy to understand and amazing to learn.

As a result of reading it, I started doing mind exercises and spent time thinking about all the ways I can use my brain since the author’s primary message is: If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Norman Doidge is a Canadian psychiatrist and award-winning science writer, currently on the Faculty of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Research Faculty at Columbia University. In this book, he provides a fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience with an emphasis on neuroplasticity. Essentially, Doidge cites many case histories illustrating the power of positive thinking in healing neurological diseases.

Doidge’s focus as the seat of the problem is always the brain. His book is highly readable and holds out hope for many people with neurological impairments.

From Thomas' list on neuroscience and the mind.

I love this book because it explains neuroplasticity in a way that anyone without a medical degree can understand. Reading this book helped me put words to what I already experienced in my private practice and made it easier for me to help my clients achieve the results they wanted. The human brain is fascinating but I find most books written by academics on the subject too abstruse. This book clarifies how the brain works and how it changes itself. It is empowering to know that our mental processes can change our brain as well as the other way round. 

From Elisa's list on for personal growth.

We used to think that you were saddled with the brain we inherited. But what the brain sciences have now shown is that the brain can change as the result of our experiences. For example, London taxi drivers have to learn ‘The Knowledge’ (the streets of London), and as a result, there are changes in the size of the hippocampus, a structure that is critical for finding your way. And merely learning to juggle for a few hours changes the speed with which the fibres from your motor cortex conduct.

From Richard's list on the human brain.

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