The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph by Norman Doidge

  • June 8, 2014 · 5:00 PM
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The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge

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.

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  • lorena

    loved it!

    June 21, 2014

  • Jannie D.

    Very enjoyable discussion.

    June 9, 2014

  • Jannie D.

    Great group of people, very thoughtful and polite. Thank you to Scott for putting this together.

    June 9, 2014

  • Sunil

    Excellent group ably hosted by as Scott as usual

    June 8, 2014

  • Helen B.

    Sorry I could not make it. It sounds like you had a rousing time.

    June 8, 2014

  • Jennifer H.

    Hi Scott, I was getting into my car to come to the book club when I saw I had a flat! My husband kindly put the spare on for me, so I'll be leaving shortly, but I will be late. -Jennifer

    June 8, 2014

  • David

    Scott, I have a couple of folding chairs I could bring if you like; let me know.

    Also, I thought it might be fun during the discussion if we could mention examples of neuroplasticity in our own lives.

    June 8, 2014

    • Scott H.

      Hi David, I think that we have more than enough chairs for the group. But thanks a lot for the offer.

      June 8, 2014

  • Alex V.

    Unfortunately I've come down with something and I can't make it, but I'm looking forward to meeting all of you next month. Hope that the discussion goes well!

    June 8, 2014

  • Doug C.

    I see you changed the venue to your place. Maybe too many people signed up for the usual place?

    June 7, 2014

    • Scott H.

      Yes, apologies about the last minute location change. Our usual cafe is closing early tomorrow evening and I couldn't find a suitable alternative. Hope you all will still be able to make it!

      June 7, 2014

    • Jannie D.

      I am looking forward to it.

      June 8, 2014

  • Susan B.

    Scott, I may try to make this meeting, if I am able to read the book in time. This would be my first meeting with the group. We'll see.

    April 27, 2014

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