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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

4.2 (1033 )
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4.3 (434 )
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4.1 (437 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jen Woods Cross, UT, USA 01-12-09
    Jen Woods Cross, UT, USA 01-12-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "Worth reading"

    As someone who had 4 massive strokes at age 25 I had to fight to get back all that I have. I was told just 7 years ago that after 3 months my recovery was done. That was it. When you're in that situation you can either accept it or not, I chose not to accept it. Neurologists are all amazed as to what I got back. So I love this book, it might not matter to you in your life but if you know someone's who has had a severe brain injury, all you can tell them is to keep trying. Don't let the doctors tell you to give up, don't accept it. Keep trying! Let's see how many doctors we can confuse, lol. There's one thing that everyone can accept about the brain and that is we know nothing about it. So good job Dr. Doidge.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Camas, WA, USA 06-18-08
    Carole Camas, WA, USA 06-18-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect Timing"

    It is great to know that those with brain injuries, abnormal brain development and boomers move into the later stages of life can take control of their mental health. It is a fascinating subject. We learn that many ideas held about the brain are being proved false. Read, learn and be empowered. Oh yeah, there is also a sales pitch in there,,,,

    38 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAT 06-19-08
    CAT 06-19-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "Text book"

    Very informative. A must for scientific minds. Much like a text book on the brain in its scientific feel. Focus on brain damage and defects repair. Would have been more interesting if there were more examples of how normal brain people can use this research to strengthen their brains.

    49 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara USA 10-24-14
    Sara USA 10-24-14

    No plot spoilers please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    150
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    "Amazing & Wonderful"

    This is a book for people who enjoy scientific theory and the exploration of concepts related to anatomy and physiology. It examines how the brain works, changes, grows and repairs itself. It presents thoughts about how the brain evolves throughout life--involving neuroplasticity, aging, illness and injury. Thirty plus years ago it was thought that the brain and nervous system were static--once injured always injured. How exciting it is to see how this thinking has evolved. To me it was a hopeful, insightful, and fascinating listening experience.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 03-16-09
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 03-16-09 Member Since 2005

    Old & fat, but strong; American, Chinese, & Indian (sort of); Ph.D. in C.S.; strategy, economics & stability theory; trees & machining.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Important"

    The basic thesis of the book is that the brain can be radically rewired through experience. That this can happen until shortly before the point of death and that this is the norm has only very recently been accepted as a mainstream view in science. This book is probably the first good survey of this revolutionary new understanding.

    The book is entertaining more than scientifically rigorous. That doesn't mean that the basic thesis of the book is scientifically suspect (it is not), just that the book doesn't attempt scrupulous rigor.

    It contains sections on the formation of sexual fetishes that make for slightly creepy reading and sections on psychodynamic that are probably pretty speculative. But it also contains truly inspirationally stories of recover from stroke and other misfortunes.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 02-11-09
    Jeff Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 02-11-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Blew my mind"

    This book is a comprehensive survey of evidence in the realm of neuro-plasticity... the ability of the brain to change. I really enjoyed this book, and found it to be profoundly mind-opening. However, the chapter on psychoanalysis was a little sketchy. Other than that, a great book that lights the way for neuroscience for the next decades.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    neil FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 07-30-09
    neil FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 07-30-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    237
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    "Amazing Stuff"

    This is an important book for anyone close to or
    responsible for another person who has suffered
    brain injury. I am such a person. The old
    beliefs about the brain being the only major organ
    in the body incapable of self repair is still held
    by too many so called professionals who have medical or rehab contact with these people, not to mention everyone else. I have believed differently for some time, now, but this
    is the first place I have seen the idea of
    "neuroplasticity" laid out in an understandable
    manner for everyone to see.
    Some parts of the book, itself, were better than others and it sort of fizzled out, at the end.
    The narration was fine. Not too long and pretty
    clear. A good starting point for one's research.
    If you are or know someone with brain injury, no matter
    what caused it, and you are not familiar with
    the ideas and facts related to the neuroplastic
    nature of the human brain, this is a must read.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Word Sponge Cary, NC 08-16-08
    Mr. Word Sponge Cary, NC 08-16-08 Member Since 2006

    Wiz

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Detailed Research Bogs Down Audio"

    Unabridged non-fictions can sometimes bog down in details...this one does. The topic and coverage is fascinating and well read. Some of the author's research would have been better summarized. Recommend the written work for professionals in the field. An abridged version would be better for the lay people.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. 07-23-08
    E. 07-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "astounding and inspiring"

    Amazing, incredible, inspiring! The best book on the workings of the mind! Dr. Doidge, author, is your personal private detective, hunting down the modern day heroes of the neurological profession, to unveil systematically the research that can relieve suffering for everyone from birth to death, disabled to normal to genius to diseased. Along the way he refers to patients who have benefitted from research relevant to each chapters topic. Highly enjoyable!

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 12-16-13
    A. Yoshida 12-16-13
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    "Brain - the amazing organ"

    This book looks at neuroplasticity from many angles -- how the brain can be rewired whether young or old, due to genetic defects, illnesses, or accidents. It is a muscle that can be strengthen through mental exercises. Although this book is more about the concept of neuroplasticity (not the application and how you can increase your brain functions), it is still filled with a lot of useful information. By repeating an activity, you can build pathways in your brain. As the pathways deepen, it becomes easier to perform that activity. This is good if you're working on math problems and can calculate faster and faster. This is bad if you start to drink and associate the release of stress with drinking alcohol more and more. This is also a great book if you're fascinated by how the brain works. It makes you want to do brain training because you know your brain can do so much more.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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