[[ Read Best ]] The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain ScienceAuthor Norman Doidge – Moncler2018.co

An Astonishing New Science Called Neuroplasticity Is Overthrowing The Centuries Old Notion That The Human Brain Is Immutable Psychiatrist And Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, MD Traveled The Country To Meet Both The Brilliant Scientists Championing Neuroplasticity And The People Whose Lives They Ve Transformed People Whose Mental Limitations Or Brain Damage Were Seen As Unalterable We See A Woman Born With Half A Brain That Rewired Itself To Work As A Whole, Blind People Who Learn To See, Learning Disorders Cured, IQs Raised, Aging Brains Rejuvenated, Stroke Patients Learning To Speak, Children With Cerebral Palsy Learning To Move With Grace, Depression And Anxiety Disorders Successfully Treated, And Lifelong Character Traits Changed Using These Marvelous Stories To Probe Mysteries Of The Body, Emotion, Love, Sex, Culture, And Education, Dr Doidge Has Written An Immensely Moving, Inspiring Book That Will Permanently Alter The Way We Look At Our Brains, Human Nature, And Human Potential

10 thoughts on “The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

  1. says:

    When I saw this book initially I thought that I would have nothing but unequivocally good things to say about it I am very fond of brain books and prefer to believe that the mind is plastic that it can change itself or re wire itself I haven t got much to pin this hope on But hope is a good thing However, in the end my response to this book has been much less black and white than I thought it would be.I ve also just finished Fooled By Randomness This has made me hypersensitive to any possibility that I might be getting fooled by any statistical aberrations And, potentially, I saw statistical aberrations everywhere in this book So much so that I was going to stop reading it and move onto something else a few times But then he quoted an Indian doctor about the importance of individual case studies and I could see what he was doing.My concern with statistically valid results started when he was talking about internet pornography changing the structure of people s brains to such an extent that they were existing on 2 3 hours sleep a night Now, admittedly, I can t remember the last time I talked to one of my male friends about how long they spend looking at internet porn but this seemed quite excessive The message was that internet porn is addictive, degenerative and destroys relationships.I worried that this sounded somewhat prudish But prim or not, this wasn t my main concern I was worried that these conclusions seemed to be based on the occasional bloke who strolled into this doctor s waiting room It seemed to me a bit of a jump to go from this group of self selected pornography addicts to saying that internet pornography is fundamentally changing our brains and of necessity making us desire violence as our normal erotic stimulant of choice.The good bits of this book, though, were very good There was a fascinating discussion on phantom hands and legs that amputees often have and how the often agonising pains in these phantom limbs are cured , quite literally, by magic The discussion on how the centres in the brain that had once been devoted to the phantom limb and were then used by other parts of the body sometimes with near catastrophic consequences was truly fascinating As was the discussion of the woman born with only the right side of her brain.The story of the woman at the start who was constantly falling a bit like Alice getting to Wonderland was also another of those horror stories, I initially worried this book might end up But also a fascinating story, all the same.There is a long and involved discussion of psychoanalysis that I again found rather hard to take Case studies in psychoanalysis too often sound to me like remarkably simple minded critiques of fairly badly written short stories written by a writer who has gone through the Women s Weekly Dictionary of Literary Symbols to construct the storyline Perhaps not ever cigar ends up being a penis, but every box seems to end up a coffin I just find myself shaking my head reading this stuff and wishing it was all over.One of the things that Fooled By Randomness said in passing that caught my attention was that there is a difference between behavioural psychology and evolutionary psychology but for his purposes these differences weren t very important I m not really much of one for psychology It tends to be a subject people who have studied philosophy look down on rather unfairly But this book stands quite opposed to say Steven Pinker s various books on how our minds are made and work Pinker is one of Noam Chomsky s followers at least in linguistics and in his oft repeated idea that we are not born with a mind that is a blank slate.I ve said this before, and am going to say it again now people often ask how Chomsky s politics and linguistics fit together and to me they don t fit at all I would expect that someone with strong left wing ideas would tend towards a belief that the oppressive structures that exist in society are able to be changed This would seem to be undermined by ideas that with Kant say that many of our faculties are innate or in up to date language are genetically pre programmed But this does seem to be what Chomsky s Linguistics implies that we have evolved linguistic structures in the brain that allow the rapid and effortless learning of language This book quotes Edelman s work I once started his Bright Light, Brilliant Fire but found it remarkably hard going Edelman had a Darwinian view of how the brain developed a view I once heard Chomsky criticise I didn t understand why Chomsky was quite so worked up about it at the time, but after finishing this I ve a better idea One of the key ideas for Edelman is that the brain must be very plastic because very, very many neurons die and they do so quite at random So, evolution can t rely on precise circuits being laid down by our genes alone Rather, brains are plastic enough so that they can learn from their environment and then respond to that But this is the point that both Pinker and Chomsky seem determined to criticise if not refute.There are many aspects of Pinker s ideas that I particularly like There are also many parts of this work that I find simple minded and annoying But, if you were to draw a line with Pinker on one end and this guy on the other, where would I put my cross Closer to Pinker I really couldn t say.All the same, even if this guy is completely wrong, and we really can t change brain structures once they have been laid down, it is probably better to believe he is right His near constant message is, if you don t use it you will lose it He repeatedly points to experiments in which well exercised brains prove to be heavier and their neurons prove to be richer in interconnections you can literally think yourself smarter He claims using your brain and continuously learning is one of the best ways to avoid Alzheimer s Disease and I do think that is probably one disease well worth avoiding.So, would I recommend this book It is hard to say I wouldn t say I learnt nothing from it but there were things about it that annoyed me As I said, when it was good, it was very, very good It is just that there was this curl, right in the middle of its forehead and that was the problem.

  2. says:

    So far this book has taught me two things 1 That I am far affected than I expected to be by the phrase sew a kitten s eyelid closed for three weeks..after which the kitten remained permanently blind in one eye and2 Using the word till instead of until is acceptable in scholarly writing For the rest of the information, stay tuned Okay, so I finished the book It was a fulfilling emotional rollercoaster for the chronically impressionable and acutely anxious Every chapter presented some new physical calamity that might any day befall me and then a lot of new work about state of the art medical attention aided recovery Leaving me, at the end of each chapter, feeling a little indestructible.In other news, the books was quick and accessible to Humanity Heads and even Grammar Faces who have a little mental science sizzle every time the word polymerase is used in a sentence It had my full attention until I got to the chapter on Handsome Henry and sexual preference when I got too angry to continue I skimmed and skipped and then read the rest of the book in full The parts where the author talked about reversing the deterioration of the brain caused by aging and the ability of psychotherapy to change the brain were especially interesting to me even if they were second fiddle to all things miraculous.

  3. says:

    Content note discusses some examples you may interpret as animal cruelty.I have pretty mixed feelings about this book My main response, I guess, is read with caution There are some parts which are reasonable, well founded, and which don t seem to be driven by any bias Talking about the ways to help people recover from strokes would fall under this category I was actually a bit surprised that all of the information about brain maps, and the brain s use it or lose it approach to neuronal real estate, was actually considered surprising or controversial I thought that aspect of neurobiology was fairly clear to people in this day and age Certainly, the idea that you can expand areas of your brain by using them, and lose abilities by not practicing them, seemed to me obvious The book was written in 2007, so I expected an understanding brain plasticity to be the norm, not the underdog.It s when Doidge got onto other topics that I started to feel uncomfortable Googling around a bit showed that Fast ForWord isn t universally acclaimed, as I m sure it would be if the results were as unequivocal as Doidge presents them Just hitting Wikipedia shows some doubt about the experiments the ones with clear positive results were conducted by biased people and weren t subjected to double blind methods.Then I got to the chapter on sexual perversions Sexual perversion, to Doidge, basically seems to be anything he doesn t personally like People with kinks or fetishes are not just different, but sick, in his analysis And it s usually their parents fault or porn It s not just individual difference, but something which must be corrected Homogeneity for all I really wonder what he d think about my total disinterest in a sex and b other people s taboos about sex If you re not doing anything to anyone that they don t want and haven t asked for, go ahead Enthusiastic consent obtained None of my business any, if it ever was Sure, a lot of it makes no sense to me and has no appeal, but nor does skateboarding or bungee jumping He just seems to have a problem with difference in general If your brain isn t wired the way other people s brains are wired, you ve got to fix it.This did make his chapter on OCD and related problems interesting to me see also my mental health awareness post on Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Me I don t have any particular arguments with his way of describing OCD and the treatment thereof I recognise those obsessive behaviours, the things that were unhelpful in trying to reverse them, and the things that actually did help He criticises CBT in a way that entirely makes sense to me, pointing out that by focusing on the intrusive thought, you can get it firmly entrenched in your mind This was a very short chapter, though.Then there s a lot of stuff about experiments on animals, which is where I gave up on this guy I m not automatically against animal experimentation, when limited, tightly controlled, and cleared or at least discussed with an ethics board I find it hard, though, to see the value in cutting all the sensory nerves in both a monkey s arms and then sticking a probe into its brain to measure responses there I find it especially hard to cope with a narrative where this is so matter of fact that there is no mention of ethical concerns at all except to complain that they got in the way of science PETA are often crackpots, I think they might have had a point here, though.So if you do read this, read it with caution, attention to the notes, reference to outside sources and studies Be prepared for very dispassionate recountings of some pretty awful experiments Sure, let s sew a kitten s eye shut for the first weeks of its life, to prove that it can then never process sight with that eye again It s not like we could do that experiment just by looking historically at children with cataracts Oh, wait Be prepared for the fact that this guy is in no way neutral.The sad thing is, I find the idea of brain plasticity utterly fascinating some of this book is great Some of it just isn t, and I m sure there must be a better book out there with a bit less of the author s personal feelings directing the text.

  4. says:

    This book is about the plasticity of the brain That is versus Localizationism which holds that the brain is static and each part performs only one function Modern science, thru the use of MRI, Catscan and observed recoveries of function loss have disproved the long held notion of localizationism The book is really a set of stories about people who have regained or developed senses they either lost or never had The stories are quite inspiring For example, one man had a stroke and lost the use of his left side He will himself, on the floor, around his house for a year and retrained another part of his brain to direct his left side and fully recovered Other stroke victims can now receive plasticity therapy to regain lost motor functions.Phantom limb pain in amputees can be stopped with mirrors There are many other stories of personal triumph I got the book when I purchased some software to excerise my brain The excercises are based on plasticity I have gotten to the point where the exercises are getting difficult We ll see if it can help an old man.P.S there are some animal testing stories in the book that made me a little quesy.

  5. says:

    Oliver Sacks, he ain t Despite the back cover blurb from Oliver Sacks, this is definitely a lesser book There are some interesting things in here, and may be worth a read, even though there was one chapter that I thought was just terrible But don t go looking here for Sacks deep humanism and warmth This is much the distant case history, although the science he s talking about is fascinating Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  6. says:

    11 305 .

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  8. says:

    travelling mp3, new car and an open roadDescription An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries old notion that the human brain is immutable Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they ve transformed people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.Doidge is not a man you would want to invite for dinner as he has no humanity MANY animals were harmed in the making of book, sickeningly so, and on many occasions seemed to me, unnecessary numbers Overkill on overkill just for the sake of proving what we all intuitively know already Use it or Lose it.There is an upside, I went into this book a chronically diseased woman and now am convinced I am indestructable it s a bloody miracle.Experiments aside, this book about brain plasticity is unputdownable, and whilst I would not recommend it on for fear of offending, The Brain That Changes Itself had me in its thrall it all made perfect sense 3.5

  9. says:

    The big idea of the book is the concept of plasticity and how the brain deals with learning and changing multiple skills In a nutshell each brain function is fighting for limited resources, there s only so much mapping space available and what you work on the most gets developed Use it or lose it Whatever you don t cultivate, over time you will lose, including ability to cultivate multiple skills, generate new ideas, stay focused, math science skills, learning a new language, playing an instrument If you don t act now it just gets harder and harder to do stuff As we age the common brain functions get deeper mapping and it gets extremely hard to build new habits because the limited space is already taken by the old ones What this means is that you need to start cultivating the right habits and skills RIGHT NOW To conclude we must realize that unlearning is a lot harder than learning because every repetition of that old habit made it stronger So it s not just about adding, it s about pro actively removing all the bad shit from your life This is really a great book, I learned a lot from reading it and I would recommend you to check it out

  10. says:

    This book was absolutely fascinating I have always been intrigued by how the brain works and, even though I am not a science person, I found this book easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable.The book is about the recent notion that the brain is plastic, or malleable Our brain has the ability to change through learning, through experience, through our thoughts It was once thought that the brain was hardwired, and that certain parts of the brain performed specific tasks and that if those parts died, the person was incapable of performing these tasks But scientists have proven that, when brain cells are killed, the brain has the capacity to reorganize itself to accomplish tasks The impact stroke victims who are paralyzed can recover some mobility, people with OCD can recognize that it s their brain that is causing their stress and can choose actions to help their brain reorganize, senior citizens can perform the right types of activities to stimulate new growth we re not talking doing crossword puzzles we mean learning new tasks , children with learning disorders can strengthen the weak parts of their brain The discoveries and experiments depicted in this book are changing the way we view the brain and will impact the way we live.