Book Review: The Brain That Changes Itself

By Jill Suttie | September 1, 2007 | 0 comments

By Norman Doidge
Viking Press, 2007, 427 pages

For centuries, the brain was considered immutable: If an area of your brain was damaged, there was little hope that you could ever again perform the activities controlled by that brain region. But recently scientists have discovered that the brain is capable of rewiring itself after illness or injury, a phenomenon labeled “neuroplasticity.”

In this fascinating book, psychiatrist and researcher Norman Doidge explores the significance of neuroplasticity, engaging the reader with stories of miraculous recovery.

He writes of stroke victims who recovered the use of paralyzed body parts, deaf people who learned to hear, and amputees who found relief from phantom limb pain, all using simple exercises designed to retrain neural pathways. He also profiles the brilliant scientists who first identified neuroplasticity and shows how their discoveries have led to revolutionary innovations in medicine and psychiatry. This book, well worth reading, may change your view of the human capacity to heal.

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About The Author

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good’s book review editor and a frequent contributor to the magazine.


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