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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 )
5 star
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4.3 (640 )
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4.2 (645 )
5 star
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4 star
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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
    42
    ratings
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    3
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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.

    40 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 10-24-14
    Sara 10-24-14

    USA, listener since 2005

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4461
    ratings
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    206
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    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Camas, WA, USA 06-18-08
    Carole Camas, WA, USA 06-18-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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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,,,,

    44 of 50 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAT 06-19-08
    CAT 06-19-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    142
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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.

    53 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 03-16-09
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 03-16-09 Member Since 2010

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    398
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    Overall
    "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.

    28 of 33 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
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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.

    19 of 24 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.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liron San Jose, CA United States 04-03-10
    Liron San Jose, CA United States 04-03-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly enlightening"

    I'm very interested in the subject matter, but I was afraid this would be too dumbed-down and oversimplified. I was skeptical that it would enhance my knowledge of the brain.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the detailed characterization of mental plasticity. This is definitely one of my favorite audiobooks.

    I also think this goes well together with Jeff Hawkins' "On Intelligence" audiobook.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tandgn Apache Junctionaz, United States 07-01-08
    Tandgn Apache Junctionaz, United States 07-01-08 Member Since 2012

    My Opinion's for your review, Thank You!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
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    35
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    Overall
    "Interesting information on brain activity"

    I enjoyed this book because it was not hard to follow. The case studies were quite interesting and reviling on how the brain can heal itself through the will of the individual of said brain. To me it shows what faith, will power, and action can accomplish. There is uncomfortable subjects and information in the book but i felt it showed the positives of brain power more then the negatives. Cool Book.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 09-09-09
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 09-09-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    613
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    Overall
    "Infomercial, not a scientific review"

    The hour of fawning over a software package (that supposedly licenses for $2000 per year!!!) and the anecdotal miracle stories made me suspicious. There are several scientific studies about this software, pro and con, that were never mentioned and certainly no negatives were given. This undermines the credibility of the book - his depiction of unfairly maligned geniuses and miracle cures too threatening to science to publish and treatments ahead of their time.

    I was looking for a credible synthesis of research in layman's terms or interesting case studies, but I frankly can't believe any of the conclusions. The author may have thoroughly researched the topic, but it feels like he sought out anecdotes and research to support his premise and ignored everything else.

    Skip this and read something from a more credible source. Yes it is easy to understand the simplified concept, but the slick-voiced reader and the biased work make this a no.

    35 of 51 people found this review helpful

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