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The Brain That Changes Itself: Personal Triumphs from the Frontiers of Brain Science | [Norman Doidge]

The Brain That Changes Itself: Personal Triumphs from the Frontiers of Brain Science

In this revolutionary look at the brain, best-selling author, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., introduces both the brilliant scientists championing this new science of neuroplasticity and the astonishing progress of the people whose lives they've transformed.

Introducing principles we can all use, as well as a riveting collection of case histories, The Brain That Changes Itself has "implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history."

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Publisher's Summary

The discovery that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains - even into old age - is the most important breakthrough in neuroscience in four centuries. In this revolutionary look at the brain, best-selling author, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., introduces both the brilliant scientists championing this new science of neuroplasticity and the astonishing progress of the people whose lives they've transformed.

Introducing principles we can all use, as well as a riveting collection of case histories - stroke patients cured, a woman with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, learning and emotional disorders overcome, IQs raised, and aging brains rejuvenated - The Brain That Changes Itself has "implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history." (The New York Times)

©2008 Norman Doidge; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating. Doidge's book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain." (Oliver Sacks)
"Readers will want to read entire sections aloud and pass the book on to someone who can benefit from it....Links scientific experimentation with personal triumph in a way that inspires awe." (The Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1250 )
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4.2 (614 )
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Performance
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  •  
    picky drinker 12-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "This book is fantastic if you want the scientific,"

    This book is fantastic if you want the scientific basis for hope for problems of every kind and the people that suffer from them. Our brains CAN change. We just have to find the way to work with our natural way of mental wiring and functioning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald E. Newlon NEW YORK, NY, US 12-10-14
    Ronald E. Newlon NEW YORK, NY, US 12-10-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Not sure if I Misunderstood"
    What disappointed you about The Brain That Changes Itself?

    I am not sure if I misunderstood the author. If I had a print book I would have read certain parts more than once. I think that he states that being gay is a sexual preference and that a gay person can fix the probelm of beiong gay. He also has a frenetic support of Dr. Taub that seems out of place.He also detailed child molestation and sexual perversion in too much detail. I think he also liked being gay in the same line of thought as sexual perversion - a preference


    What could Norman Doidge have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I think Norman Doidge's core bliefs came through and I do not like him.


    Did Jim Bond do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He did a good job -


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I like some of the material about strokes and phantom limbs


    Any additional comments?

    I am concerned that this type of book and belief is what lead to young gay people being reprogrammed and killing themselves when the reprograming does not work.I did not ask for a refund because I wanted to write a review.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 05-28-14
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 05-28-14 Member Since 2010

    I am a grower. A tangle of vines weaving round myrtle branch fences. Rusty metal, soft stone, and worn wood. Unkempt curls and knees covered in clay. I listen.

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    "Very Interesting"
    What did you love best about The Brain That Changes Itself?

    This book offers up a lot of really great information about brain plasticity.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The over all message that we do have some power in changing the way our brains work. There are many uplifting tales of people with enough will and dedication overcoming extreme hardship by changing the way that their brains are wired.


    What about Jim Bond’s performance did you like?

    Clear spoken and good pacing.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were many actually, but I don't want to give too much away... spoilers.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book and great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-28-14
    Thomas Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "nothing new"
    Any additional comments?

    I thought this was going to have some insight on new research in the field. This is nothing new. most of the research was done decades ago and amount to the fact that with training in some circumstances, the brain can learn to do new things. This is not surprising. I guess i expected to much. I thought this was going to be about the brain's ability to regenerate itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Violet Weed 04-01-14
    Violet Weed 04-01-14

    The Truth shall Set Ye Free

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    "I ♥ this book!! Very intriguing & educational 2."
    If you could sum up The Brain That Changes Itself in three words, what would they be?

    Plasticity is real.


    What other book might you compare The Brain That Changes Itself to and why?

    The Future of the Mind, by Michio Kaku. I don't really like how Mr. Kaku 'pushes' his particular cultural beliefs about God, but he does write very interesting books. But I prefer The Brain that Changes, because it highlights what I've long understand about humankind. We are resourceful beings who love to help others by uncovering 'truths' and overturning prejudices. The book also supports my own belief in Intelligent Design and therefore a Maker of everything including human beings. Mr. Kaku's books are 'missing' that 'God' element. (Although I do not think the writer of The Brain That Changes... intended to help clarify God to his readers, BUT HE DOES.) :)


    What does Jim Bond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is an excellent reader. With wonderfully emotive voicings, and a good sense of word rhythm, his reading style & expertise adds greatly to the story itself. I'd definitely listen to other books for which he is the reader.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I cannot select one area in particular because the entire audible book was exciting to me. It almost makes me want to go back to university, get a science degree, maybe a medical degree, too, and become a research scientist. It confirmed for me what my own life style has taught me: if one has a lifelong hunger for knowledge & understanding, a disdain for 'partying', and a love of consistent outdoor exercise and communing with nature, there does not have to be any obvious deterioration in one's middle years (I consider myself at 65 to be just at the beginning of my middle age because of how I have lived my life). This book reinforces my thoughts on aging unlike "The Secret Life of the Grownup Brain" which was a poorly researched book, at best.


    Any additional comments?

    I was about to cancel my audible book subscription, but this book really makes up for the bad ones. Thank you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Franklin, WI, United States 01-18-14
    Shawn Franklin, WI, United States 01-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Big fan of listening to books of all shapes and sizes. Primarily: sci fi, fantasy, nonfiction in human services, buddhism, and classics.

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    "Too many Monkey studies"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not it has too many references to Monkey's being "studied". The purpose of experiencing this book for me is at it relates to Trauma Informed Care. Not helpful when you're hearing about Monkey's being cut into for the purposes of science. Had to stop a third of the way through.


    Was The Brain That Changes Itself worth the listening time?

    In some ways - yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the essence of the book is helpful information, the narration is standard, but I personally didn't want to hear about the Monkey's being "studied". So if that is not an issue for you - then this book may provide helpful insights into brain plasticity.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario 01-16-14
    Mario 01-16-14
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    "Informative and interesting"
    What did you love best about The Brain That Changes Itself?

    The history of the direction science was moving when the idea of brain plasticity was being proposed as well as the actual details of cases and practical implications this has in life.
    This is a must for people to read if they have an interest in explaining things that happen to people and how therapy helps from topics through stroke therapy, autism, genetics, personal problems. Very interesting, I'll read again.


    Any additional comments?

    The recording was very low so I had to crank up my ipod and stereo when listening all the way. Wish it were louder to allow me to run at a normal volume. Was clear, just the volume was not loud at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 10-05-13
    André ORLANDO, FL, United States 10-05-13 Member Since 2011

    I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time.

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    "Better than I expected"

    I would not buy this book if Audible did not make the promotion- use 2 credits and buy 3 books. I read the reviews before, because in Edward Hallowell's Shine he mentions this book, but I was not impressed. When I started to listen, I was in AWE. The first four chapters made me buy the kindle version and read it all again. Great book!!!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Waterloo, ON, Canada 08-13-12
    Nancy Waterloo, ON, Canada 08-13-12 Member Since 2014

    I love learning, teaching, and exploring!

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    "Scientific"
    If you could sum up The Brain That Changes Itself in three words, what would they be?

    Scientific, detailed, organized


    What other book might you compare The Brain That Changes Itself to and why?

    I would compare this book to Moonwalking with Einstein, which is mainly about how memory works. The books were similar in the sense that they both touch upon aspects of psychology and cognition but I would say that The Brain That Changes Itself was more scientific and provided more details about many scientific studies and experiments.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I thought the narration was just average. There wasn't anything extra special about it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was interesting to hear about one subject who was born with only half a brain and how her brain was able to adapt.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Kim 06-10-12
    Joshua Kim 06-10-12

    mostly nonfiction listener

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    "Good Brain Book"

    A worthy addition to the brain bookshelf. Not quite as good as Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina , on par with Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and
    Other Puzzles of Everyday Life by Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt. The stories of our brains plasticity will, well, blow your mind. The fact that so much of what science thought about how our brains worked turned out to be wrong tells us how difficult it is to understand those 3 pounds sitting inside of our skulls.

    The idea that our brain's inherent neuroplasticity holds out hope for greater wisdom and intelligence as we age is a hopeful one, while at the same time we must recognize our brain's unhelpful tendencies to form patterns of thought that are sub-optimal. Doidge has a good story to tell, he understands the science, but is somewhat limited by his skills as a storyteller. The story of our changing understanding of the brain is one that deserves to be told by our very best writers.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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