The most recommended neuroplasticity books

Who picked these books? Meet our 7 experts.

7 authors created a book list connected to neuroplasticity, and here are their favorite neuroplasticity books.
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Book cover of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Carole Massey Author Of Drawing for the Absolute Beginner

From the list on how to draw.

Who am I?

I have always loved to draw ever since my Dad used to sit drawing with me at the kitchen table when I was little. At Art School we had to spend the first six weeks doing a daily life drawing class before being allowed to pick up a paintbrush! I then studied graphic design setting up my own business, at a time when, without computers, drawing was essential for presenting layout and design. Nowadays, I’m constantly instilling in my students the importance of drawing and sketching. Having been a professional artist all my working life, drawing has been a fundamental element in every way, and all the way.

Carole's book list on how to draw

Why did Carole love this book?

If you think you can’t draw, then read this book! It’s a bible for anyone wanting to draw, and is by all accounts “the world's most widely used drawing instruction book.” If you want to start drawing or have been unable to get much beyond a “childlike level,” the exercises in this book will help you gain those skills you have always sought.

I often use the “Upside down Drawing” exercise with my portrait classes; my students are usually astounded at how quickly and accurately they can produce a likeness! This is a fascinating book and whether you are an experienced artist or just starting, it will give you inspiring confidence and deepen your artistic perception.

By Betty Edwards,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'You will quickly amaze and delight yourself. Hands down the best and most life-enhancing thing I've done in lockdown' India Knight, Sunday Times

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used drawing instruction book. Whether you are a professional, a student, or enjoy art as a hobby, Betty Edwards' practical step-by-step guide will give you greater confidence in your ability, deepen your artistic perception and provide a new way to appreciate the way you perceive the world around you.

This groundbreaking guide includes:
- Expert advice on materials…

Book cover of Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do about It

Christia Spears Brown Author Of Unraveling Bias: How Prejudice Has Shaped Children for Generations and Why It's Time to Break the Cycle

From the list on raising bias-free kids.

Who am I?

Christia Spears Brown is an author, researcher, and professor of Developmental Psychology. She is also the Director of the Center for Equality and Social Justice at the University of Kentucky. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. Brown began her academic career on the faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles. Her research focuses on how children develop gender and ethnic stereotypes, how children understand gender and ethnic discrimination, and how discrimination and stereotypes affect children and teens’ lives. As part of her research on discrimination, she also examines the perpetration and acceptance of sexual harassment and how children understand politics, public policies, and societal inequalities.

Christia's book list on raising bias-free kids

Why did Christia love this book?

This book holds a magnifying glass up to the gender differences and stereotypes we see every day. Eliot describes in easy-to-understand language the neuroscience behind gender differences and details how small differences between boys and girls at birth become amplified over the course of childhood by parents, teachers, and the culture. 

By Lise Eliot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pink Brain, Blue Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An important scientific exploration of the differences between boys and girls that breaks down damaging gender stereotypes and offers practical guidance for parents and educators.

In the past decade, we've heard a lot about the innate differences between males and females. As a result, we've come to accept that boys can't focus in a classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships. That's just the way they're built.

In Pink Brain, Blue Brain, neuroscientist Lise Eliot turns that thinking on its head. Based on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the new field of plasticity, Eliot argues that…

Loving with the Brain in Mind

By Mona DeKoven Fishbane,

Book cover of Loving with the Brain in Mind: Neurobiology and Couple Therapy

Peter Fraenkel Author Of Last Chance Couple Therapy: Bringing Relationships Back from the Brink

From the list on how to improve couple and family relationships.

Who am I?

I’m a Ph.D. clinical psychologist and tenured associate professor at The City College of New York, where I teach couple and family therapy, multicultural issues in psychotherapy, and research methods. I've conducted research on a couple's distress prevention program. I’ve been a licensed therapist for 30+ years working primarily with “last chance couples” – those on the brink of dissolving their relationship. I attended the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University, where I received my B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy, and obtained my doctorate at Duke University. I have also been on the faculty of Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center, and the Ackerman Institute for the Family. I lecture internationally.

Peter's book list on how to improve couple and family relationships

Why did Peter love this book?

Dr. Fishbane is a clinical psychologist and couple therapist, and one of the most important clinical theorists in our field. 

She spent years amassing the emerging research on the social determinants of brain development and developed a practical approach to what she calls “neuroeducation” for couples – helping partners understand the neurophysiological underpinnings and effects of marital conflict, how partners regulate each other’s emotions, and how to manage one’s negative arousal to engage in loving, compassionate relationships. 

Although written for therapists, it is highly engaging and accessible for the general reader who seeks to understand why they become so distressed during conflict with their partners and how to manage their arousal for better communication.

By Mona DeKoven Fishbane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loving with the Brain in Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Human brains and behavior are shaped by genetic predispositions and early experience. But we are not doomed by our genes or our past. Neuroscientific discoveries of the last decade have provided an optimistic and revolutionary view of adult brain function: People can change. This revelation about neuroplasticity offers hope to therapists and to couples seeking to improve their relationship. Loving With the Brain in Mind explores ways to help couples become proactive in revitalizing their relationship. It offers an in-depth understanding of the heartbreaking dynamics in unhappy couples and the healthy dynamics of couples who are flourishing.

Sharing her extensive…

My Stroke of Insight

By Jill Bolte Taylor, Jill Bolte Taylor,

Book cover of My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

Devesh Dahale Author Of The 5000th Baby: A Parent's Perspective and Journey through the First Year of Life

From the list on patient/family experience in healthcare.

Who am I?

Life caught me by surprise when our youngest son was born with a birth defect that launched our family into the world of surgeries, and treatments. After experiencing the management of chronic care for our child firsthand, I realized how important it is to share personal stories and experiences. It enables empathy and a deeper understanding and appreciation of what patients and families go through. Autobiographical accounts of patients and families are still very limited. We need more people to come forward and share their own patient/family experiences in order to promote the betterment of healthcare and healing through relating with others and learning from others’ experiences.

Devesh's book list on patient/family experience in healthcare

Why did Devesh love this book?

This is an enlightening memoir recounting the story and journey of experiencing and recovering from a stroke. I love this book because it uniquely combines perspectives of the author being a researcher (neuroscientist), patient (experiencing the stroke), and just a common person with a normal life - which was turned upside down by the stroke. The author walks you through the arduous physical and emotional roller coaster of recovery, a few neurons at a time. The human brain candidly expressing what happened to itself, is a marvelously fascinating concept that you get to learn by reading this book.

By Jill Bolte Taylor, Jill Bolte Taylor,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Stroke of Insight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Transformative...[Taylor's] experience...will shatter [your] own perception of the world."-ABC News

The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment

On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life-all within four hours-Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and…


By David Eagleman,

Book cover of Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain

M. Leona Godin Author Of There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness

From the list on blindness and the brain.

Who am I?

Thanks to a degenerative retinal eye disease, I’ve lived on pretty much every notch of the sight-blindness continuum. While going blind super slowly I’ve engaged with the science of seeing and not-seeing as an  academic and artist for about 25 years. I like to say that there are as many ways of being blind as there are of being sighted, there are just fewer of us. Besides teaching literature and humanities courses at NYU, I’ve lectured on art, accessibility, technology, and disability at universities and institutions around the country. I love sharing stories about the brain on blindness, and hope you find my recommendations as fascinating as I do.

M.'s book list on blindness and the brain

Why did M. love this book?

Neuroscientist David Eagleman uses a delightful array of examples—from historical to contemporary, geological to quotidian—to explain the marvels and complexities of the human brain. Although, as someone who lost all her sight later in life, I sometimes find myself wishing for the brain plasticity of a two-year-old, I am grateful for the amount of change that can occur in even the older brain. Most excitingly to a blind person living in an ocular centric world, Livewired reveals how “Sensory organs feed many different information sources to the brain,” and the consequence of this diversity is that: “your brain doesn’t know, and it doesn’t care, where the data come from.” I can only hope reading this book helps non-blind humans learn to be as impartial as their brains.

By David Eagleman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Livewired as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What does drug withdrawal have in common with a broken heart? Why is the enemy of memory not time, but other memories? How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Why did many people in the 1980s mistakenly perceive book pages to be slightly red in colour? Why is the world's best archer armless? Might we someday control a robot with our thoughts, just as we do our fingers and toes? Why do we dream at night, and what does that have to do with the rotation…

One Hour in Paris

By Karyn L. Freedman,

Book cover of One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery

Rick Umali Author Of I Couldn’t Keep It To A Tweet

From Rick's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Reader Immigrant Programmer

Rick's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Rick love this book?

Karyn Freedman has written a superb but difficult book. It is a close look at her own rape by a stranger while she was in Paris, traveling as a college student. 

The book is a memoir using the lens of this one event. The book is also a scholarly look at rape and its societal causes. It succeeds at both points of view. She documents her ongoing recovery and the power of psychotherapy.

It was illuminating for me to see how this process worked. She writes that rape is often seen as a personal problem but declares that rape is a social issue with deeply set causes.

She makes persuasive arguments backed up by a study she did on rape in Africa. Despite its difficult and intimate subject matter, she was able to remain unflinching in her focus, and her book is powerful because of it.

By Karyn L. Freedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Hour in Paris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this powerful memoir, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman travels back to a Paris night in 1990 when she was twenty-two and, in one violent hour, her life was changed forever by a brutal rape. One Hour in Paris takes the reader on a harrowing yet inspirational journey through suffering and recovery both personal and global. We follow Freedman from an apartment in Paris to a French courtroom, then from a trauma center in Toronto to a rape clinic in Africa. At a time when as many as one in three women in the world have been victims of sexual assault…