The Brain That Changes Itself and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 14.44
  • List Price: CDN$ 19.50
  • You Save: CDN$ 5.06 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science Paperback – Dec 18 2007


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 14.44
CDN$ 10.30 CDN$ 10.98

2014 Books Gift Guide
Yes Please, the eagerly anticipated first book from Amy Poehler, the Golden Globe winning star of Parks and Recreation, is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Frequently Bought Together

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science + Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life + The Mind And The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force
Price For All Three: CDN$ 44.00


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 Reprint edition (Dec 18 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143113100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143113102
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

For years the doctrine of neuroscientists has been that the brain is a machine: break a part and you lose that function permanently. But more and more evidence is turning up to show that the brain can rewire itself, even in the face of catastrophic trauma: essentially, the functions of the brain can be strengthened just like a weak muscle. Scientists have taught a woman with damaged inner ears, who for five years had had "a sense of perpetual falling," to regain her sense of balance with a sensor on her tongue, and a stroke victim to recover the ability to walk although 97% of the nerves from the cerebral cortex to the spine were destroyed. With detailed case studies reminiscent of Oliver Sachs, combined with extensive interviews with lead researchers, Doidge, a research psychiatrist and psychoanalyst at Columbia and the University of Toronto, slowly turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down. He is, perhaps, overenthusiastic about the possibilities, believing that this new science can fix every neurological problem, from learning disabilities to blindness. But Doidge writes interestingly and engagingly about some of the least understood marvels of the brain. (Mar. 19)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff...with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history.”
-The New York Times

“Brilliant...Doidge has identified a tidal shift in basic science...The implications are monumental.”
-The London Times

“Fascinating. Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.”
-Oliver Sacks, MD

“Two years ago, when the journal Cerebrum at the Dana Foundation in the US updated its list of great books about the brain for the general reader, it found there were already 30,000 brain-related books in English. Aided by scientific advisers and readers, it produced a new list - with The Brain That Changes Itself at No. 1.”
-The Melbourne Age

“Lucid and absolutely fascinating. It satisfies in equal measure the mind and heart.”
-The Chicago Tribune

“Doidge turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down.”
-Publisher’s Weekly

“Brilliant...This book is a wonderful and engaging way or re-imagining what kind of creatures we are.”
-Jeanette Winterson, novelist, Order of the British Empire, Guardian, Best Book of 2008

“Superb. Brilliant. I devoured it.” 
-V.S. Ramachandran, MD, PHD, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, Univeristy of California, San Diego, Author of Phantoms of the Brain 

“Doidge... is a master ... at explaining science to the rest of us. Doidge is the best possible guide. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to read it, just curious about your brain.  Buy this book. Your brain will thank you.”
-The Globe and Mail

“Readers will want to read entire sections aloud and pass the book on to someone who can benefit from it. [Doidge] links scientific experimentation with personal triumph in a way that inspires awe”
-Washington Post 
“Doidge tells one spell-binding story after another as he travels the globe interviewing the scientists and their subjects who are on the cutting edge of a new age. It may be hard to imagine that a book so rich in science can also be a page-turner, but this one is hard to set down.”  
-Jeff Zimman, Posit Science, e-newsletter 

“The most readable and best general treatment of this subject to date.”        
- Michael M. Merzenich, Ph.D., Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences   University of California at San Francisco

“A riveting, essential book… These stories are most emotionally satisfying. Doidge addresses how cultural influences literally "shape" our brain. [And]….our response to the world around us is not only a social or psychological phenomenon, but often a lasting neurological process.”
— Montreal Gazette, Liam Durcan, MD,      Neurologist & Novelist 

“A hymn to life.”
-Panorama Italy


“The Brain That Changes Itself...is without question the most important book of the year, and maybe the most important book we have ever read.”
-Kiril Sokoloff, 13D Research Inc

“This books is like discovering that the earth isn’t flat.”
-Gretel Killeen, Sun Herald, “The Books That Changed Me”

“A rich banquet of brain-mind plasticity, communicated in a brilliantly clear writing style.”
-Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D., Head, Affective Neuroscience Research, Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Northwestern University;
                           
“A masterfully guided tour through the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity research.”
- Discover Magazine

“Norman Doidge has shown that what and how we think can change our brains. He has illuminated the foundations of psychological healing.”
- Charles Hanly, Ph.D.President, International Psychoanalytical Association

“Astonishing. This book will inevitably draw comparisons to the work of Oliver Sacks. Doidge has a prodigious gift for rendering the highly technical highly readable. It's hard to imagine a more exciting topic--or a better introduction to it.”
- Kitchener Waterloo Record

“Perfect for fans of Oliver Sacks”
-Quill & Quire

“Beautifully written and brings life and clarity to a variety of neuropsychiatric problems that affect children and adults... It reads a bit like a science detective story and -you do not need a Ph.D. to benefit from the wisdom imparted here.”
- Barbara Milrod, M.D. Psychiatry, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York 

“A panoramic examination of plasticity's profound implications. “                      
-Toronto Daily Star

“An eloquently written book about the boundless potential of the human brain.
- The Jewish Week

“Norman Doidge has written a fascinating, highly readable account of the new brain science.” 
-John Cornwell, Literary Review, England

“You really should read this book... this remarkable work will lead us to see ourselves in a new light.”                         
-Mail on Sunday, England

“An 'essential primer’ for anyone who wants to better understand their own brains and the considerable advances in neuroscience of the past two decades.”
-Melbourne Age

“A book that everybody should read... it is nothing short of miraculous. Get it!”
-Yoko Ono, Yoko Reads Book Recommendations

“Fascinating … Doidge has accomplished a rare feat. He has written a book that accurately conveys cutting-edge scientific discoveries while simultaneously engaging both scientific and popular audiences.”
-Neuro-Psychoanalysis       


“A remarkable book ... a highly readable exploration of a branch of science that has the potential to change all our lives.”
-Hobart Mercury

“Why isn't this book on the top of the bestseller list of all time? The recognition that the brain in plastic and can actually change itself with exercise and understanding is a huge leap in the history or mankind, far greater than landing on the moon.”
- Jane S. Hall, International Psychoanalysis

“Only a few decades ago, scientists considered the brain to be fixed or ‘hardwired’ and considered most forms of brain damage, therefore, to be incurable.  Dr. Doidge, an eminent psychiatrist and researcher, was struck by how his patients’ own transformations belied this and set out to explore the new science of neuroplasticity by interviewing both scientific pioneers in neuroscience, and patients who have benefited from neurorehabilitation. Here he describes in fascinating personal narratives how the brain, far from being fixed, has remarkable powers of changing its own structure and compensating for even the most challenging neurological conditions. Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.”
- Oliver Sack, MD, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 3 2007
This is the most interesting book I've read about brain science . . . and the most relevant. I highly recommend you read it!

If you haven't been following brain science, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Recent experiments have overturned a long-held tenant of brain science: That specific mental and bodily functions can only be directed from one location in the brain. Destroy that section and physicians have told you that you were out of luck. This conclusion doomed many who had suffered strokes and other brain injuries to having no hope of improvement.

The good news, as described in this easy-to-understand popular treatment, is that the brain can actually relocate functions to new areas if the primary site is destroyed. As a result, stroke victims can gain control over movements by therapy designed to disable their abler body areas . . . forcing the brain to establish new circuits to control the areas with little or no control; the blind can learn to "see" using sensor inputs from other areas of their bodies; those without balance can relearn balance through using other feedback mechanisms; and those with "phantom" pain tied to missing limbs can trigger elimination of that sensation. The only continuing limitation seems to be that some areas of the brain are only open to maximum flexibility during short periods of life. But promising research suggests that biochemical tools may be able to reopen those pathways to progress.

Chances are that your physician won't know about all of these advanced therapies. If you or someone you know has neurological disorders, you should read this book to see where to send them for help.

Be sure to check out the sections on how psychoanalysis can be used to rewire the brain to change sensations, reactions, and behavior, and the appendices on cultural impacts on the brain and the potential for perfectibility.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By J. Zimman on March 30 2007
A revolution is now sweeping through the field of brain science, and this book chronicles the stories of the men and women who have ushered in a new age. The brain is no longer viewed as a machine that is hard-wired early in life, unable to adapt and destined to "wear out" with age. Instead, we learn that scientists are beginning to unlock the secrets of the powerful, lifelong, adaptability - or "plasticity" - of the brain. The implications are enormous for treating neurological conditions, for addressing the aging process and for dramatic improvements in human performance. Author Norman Doidge is a psychiatrist on the Columbia faculty and he tells one spell-binding story after another, as he travels the globe interviewing the scientists and their subjects who are on the cutting edge of these developments. Each story is interwoven with the latest in brain science, told in a manner that is both simple and compelling. It may be hard to imagine that a book so rich in science can also be a page-turner, but this one is hard to set down.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 9 2008
The history of Sigmund Freud's approach to the mechanisms of the mind has exhibited some tumultuous changes over the past century. Norman Doidge reminds us that Freud developed a thesis about the mind's plasticity over time. Freud's psychotherapy - irrespective of some questionable methods - was designed to allow the mind to search within itself and change outward behaviour by identifying memories hidden or repressed. However, after Freud, researchers using diagnoses of stroke or brain-injury victims, "mapped" areas in the brain for function. The first of these was the speech-producing region now named Broca's Area, after Paul Broca, its discoverer in the mid-19th century. Brain modularity, or "localization" as Doidge deems it, became the norm in brain research for decades following Broca. In this fine account of the history or recent brain studies, Doidge addresses a new concept being used to both treat and train - brain "plasticity".

Rewiring of the brain isn't a new concept. Among the more famous examples of how the brain reacts to challenges from the rest of the body is the concept known as "phantom limbs". Patients suffering amputations have complained of itchiness or pain seeming to emanate from the lost limb. V.S. Ramachandran and his colleagues have described this phenomenon in detail. "Rama" is but one of the researchers Doidge parades in a receiving line of innovative cognitive specialists. One of his more noteworthy is Michael Merzenich, who Doidge declares is the "world's leading researcher in brain plasticity". Merzenich followed the work of Wilder Penfield at McGill University in Montreal. Penfield used electrical probes to map the regions of the brain to identify which areas produced specific reactions. Penfield's work reinforced the consensus regarding "localization".
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Danielle on May 24 2007
Dr. Doidge's book provides you with an excellent insight into the world of neuroplasticity, or the world of the malleable brain. Although it has many great examples illustrating the "plasticity" of the brain, the reader should have some backround knowledge of the nervous system to fully comprehend the concepts, although it is explained to some extent in the book. An excellent read, one that i would encourage all to read
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ralph A. Muench on Feb. 6 2009
Format: Paperback
Finally! Someone has written an owners manual for the brain. Once you read this, you begin to understand why we do the things we do, and how to solve behavioral and physical problems. Excellent!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback