Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge

Last night when I felt like reading I discovered my Kindle needed recharging *horror* so I decided to pick up a 'real' book and read that while it was charging, and now I can't put it down! What is more unusual is that this is a non fiction book, and although I do read non fiction books I usually read them slowly, chapter by chapter alongside devouring various novels.

"The brain that changes itself"  is by Norman Doidge, who is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and researcher in the USA. This book was originally recommended to me by my friend Georgie. This is a Non-Fiction book about the human brain and neuroplasticity. I heard an interesting scientific presentation by Simon Koblar on a similar topic recently and  his discussion of the potential for using patients stem cells from their teeth to help stroke patients brains recover. This seminar combined with my friend's recommendation inspired me to read this book. 

Started reading: 4th Feb 2014
Finished reading: 22nd February 2014
My score: 9.5/10

Really awesome book - very fascinating. I really recommend it, even for non-scientists, most of it is explained clearly, and it is just mind-blowing what the human brain can do. If your interested in stroke therapy, preventing dementia or old-age related memory loss, managing addiction, understanding autism - anything to do with how the brain functions and what it can be taught to do, how even adult brains have some level of 'plasticity' enabling them to recover lost function or develop new functions with the correct exercises - this is a must-read. There were 2 chapters that I thought were a bit too 'Freudian' for me, dealing more with psychoanalysis of sexual relationships and loss of a mother in infancy, which is why I gave the book 9.5 instead of 10/10, but apart from those two chapters the rest of the book is an amazing, insightful and well explained journey into neuroplasticity.

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