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Publisher's Summary

An astonishing new scientific discovery called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the adult human brain is fixed and unchanging. It is, instead, able to change its own structure and function, even into old age.
In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed.
©2007 Norman Doidge (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic Reviews

“A remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.” (Oliver Sacks)
“Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff with implications for all human beings.” ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Russell on 10-25-11

Intriguing insight into the workings of the brain

This is a great 'read' if you are interested in the way the brain works and particularly how the brain manages to repair itself or work around obstacles to keep the body functioning. Its also professionally narrated. It talks about perceptions, how the brain deals with pain (it "allows" pain signals for example) and what it does if the body loses an eye or a limb by remapping parts of the brain to compensate, or how, in some cases, it fails such as phantom limb syndrome. I found it fascinating and insightful and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has a keen interest in science and research or human perception.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-18-15

Seminal review of the area

Loved it and reminded of our need to be honest with ourselves about our level of knowledge.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Icewraithuk on 05-04-15

Interesting topic, strange focus

What did you like best about The Brain that Changes Itself? What did you like least?

I liked that the book did give examples of real world evidence of plasticity and of the changing of the scientific mindset

Has The Brain that Changes Itself put you off other books in this genre?

No, although I will likely not put myself through listening to the whole thing if I'm not enjoying it again

What about Jim Bond’s performance did you like?

Well read, nice voice and good pace

If this book were a film would you go see it?


Any additional comments?

This book focuses so, so much on the "problem". You hear about what was wrong with someone in graphic, lengthy detail. Some of it is really not pleasant and, to my mind, not relevant. There is a fair amount of academic excess - 10 pages to say what could be said in 1 page, but that wouldn't be such a problem if the author just got on with tellings us about the topic (brains adapting) and less about people putting a nail through their genitals... In print, you could easily skip past that stuff, much less able to do that if you're listening to it while driving.

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28 of 29 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By David Jackson on 05-12-16

Incredible, but not credible

I really wanted to like this book, and at first I did. Quite soon however, I started questioning it at a very fundamental level, to the point where I eventually felt that I couldn't really trust the conclusions. I felt it was sold to me as a means for a layman to understand a complicated area of science, but when looking closer I felt it really lacked a proper scientific approach. Every conclusion in the book was presented using such supreme certainty, in a field where virtually everything is up for debate. I just couldn't believe that the author could know all of that without even a shadow of a doubt.

Some serious warning lights finally started flashing when the author started bringing up Freud left right and center. I mean, perhaps the guy had some good points. But the author discussed Freud as if virtually everything he stood for had been vindicated by the theory of plasticity. Furthermore, like Freud, he kept using his narrow studies and anecdotes to justify a series of extremely moralising conclusions on society.

I didn't hate this book and it certainly inspired me to read more on the subject. However, I cannot recommend it.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By clare on 07-08-17


Everyone whether they're interested in Neuroplasticity for themselves or someone else, or not, needs to read this book. People need to start understanding the power of their brain and start looking for programs which will help them get their lives back. Complacency is not an excuse, when access to this kind of educational material is so easily available. MCS, CFSME, Fibro, all these things are a Limbic System injury, which is making the body sick, this injury/illness can be fixed.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rowan on 08-27-17

Fascinating - if a little morally questionable

This is a great read. I was a little surprised and disappointed that a man as intelligent as Doidge seems totally nonplussed about the fairly egregious ethical violations described in this book in relation to animal welfare of test subjects. Stapling kittens eyes shut and stitching body parts of monkeys together is obviously shaky moral ground to say the least and at least some measure of representation for PETA's argument (as awful as they are) in a non sarcastic or dismissive manner was lacking in my opinion. This is a fascinating read though and a must for understanding our most powerful organ.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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