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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 (1288 )
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  •  
    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 06-08-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 06-08-12 Member Since 2008

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

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    "Brain plasticity is so cool!"
    Any additional comments?

    So much has been learned about the brain in my lifetime. Hearing about the amazing way the brain can reorganize itself, and about how much we've learned about the structure of the brain vs. the parts that can be structured as needed is absolutely fascinating.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Central Point, OR, United States 11-11-11
    Eric Central Point, OR, United States 11-11-11
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    "Empowering Information"

    This type of information should be included in the 'manual' of being human. This book is right in line with the most contemporary understandings within human development that states - human are plastic (malleable) in nature.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah san francisco, CA, United States 06-03-11
    sarah san francisco, CA, United States 06-03-11
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    "Great read if you're already interested in science"

    I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Part Gladwell, part science history, part brain science upper division, this is a great intro to neuroplasticity. Now, if you aren't already interested in this subject, it probably isn't going to feel very relevant and so I wouldn't recommend it to my mom or a few of my friends. But if you are already interested in the subject, Doidge takes you on fun journey with twists and turns along the way (I was not expected him to go in depth on a famous sadomasicist/exhibitionist).

    Reading is great, presentation is great, stories are great. I didn't give it five stars because the book teeters a little bit between being a resource (if your child has a learning disability or someone you know has had a stroke this is an essential read) and a lay book and the result is that I now feel under-informed about a variety of things I knew nothing about previously.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pauline Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-17-10
    Pauline Colorado Springs, CO, United States 08-17-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Outstanding, ground-breaking information"

    Mr. Doidge lays out the story of how the brain is able to rewire itself with some specific yet very simple training in a clear, layperson-friendly way. It reads like a really good mystery novel, only the story is true. By the end of the book I was so awe-struck by what neuroscience has been able to do with these discoveries for people who have suffered brain injuries and strokes and even how to improve things like dyslexia and comprehension. I read this book hard-cover first, then bought the audiobook to experience the information in two different modes so that I could get as much out of it as possible for my own thinking process improvement activity. This should be read either with or before Dr. Amen's Change Your Brain Change Your Body. The two work together quite by coincidence. Five stars without reservation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 02-20-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 02-20-09 Member Since 2015
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    "New Stuff"

    This book does a great job of bringing the reader up to speed on recent developments in neuroplasticity. It sounds like a boring, technical topic (which it can be), but this book (and its reader) make things easy to understand. I was informed, entertained, and encouraged about my own aging process.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hai 02-14-09
    Hai 02-14-09
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    "Rearanged my Brain"

    Wonderful, solid work, I'm wishing and waiting for his next book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 01-01-09
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 01-01-09 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting, accessible and helpful"

    I love this book and the information its offers is great, it helps me understand why I feel the way I do, and taught me that I can change myself. The vocabulary this books uses is easy to understand and makes it very accessible. Great book, highly recommended.

    However, the presentation of lengthy case studies might not be for everybody, nor is the historical context the author provided.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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