Oct 19, 2010

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

I am close to finishing a remarkable book called "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge.  I will quote from a description of the book:

It demonstrates the various ways the plasticity of the brain can produce significant recovery of patients suffering from the most debilitating ailments, including paralysis from stroke, and autism. Prior to the acceptance of the idea that the human brain is surprisingly flexible and adaptable (plastic), most neuroscientists were of the belief that different sections of the brain specialized in specific tasks (localization), and these specialized areas became rigid and solidified early on in life in such a way that sufficient damage to each section would forever deprive the victim of its functionality.

There is a chapter on the remarkable recovery of a stroke victim, the amazing development of the Arrowsmith program and much more.

One caveat - there is one chapter that is X-rated in which he explains how people get addicted to pornography which you can skip.


  1. does the book talk about how to tap into the plasticity or does it just state that recovery from brain injury is possible?

  2. I remember some time ago coming across an article about a girl who had some brain damage. They discovered later in life that she was born with half a brain and her brain damage wasn't any where near what one would expect in such a case but it seems the side that remained managed to compensate and learn to do things that the other side would ordinarily be responsible for.

    Rosie I don't know much about medicine and even less about brains but I think it's about creating new neural pathways. Fascinating stuff