Norman Doidge, MD, is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and New York Times bestselling author. He is on the Research Faculty at Columbia University's Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York, and on the faculty at the University of Toronto's Department of Psychiatry. He and his work have been profiled and cited in, among others, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, Scientific American Mind, Melbourne Age, The Guardian, The Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Psychology Today, O The Oprah Magazine, and the National Review.
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 2006 Reed Business Information.
The newest buzzword in brain science seems to be neuroplasticity-the idea that the adult brain is capable of positive change. For decades, scientists and doctors thought little could be done for victims of strokes and accidents because brain cells in adults were locked into specific functions and didn't change or grow. Doidge (psychoanalysis, Columbia Univ. Psychoanalytic Ctr.) tells the story of the scientists whose work has proven that neuroplasticity is, in fact, possible, with examples of patients suffering from strokes, paralysis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, blindness, learning disabilities, and other neurological and psychiatric problems who have been helped. Sharon Begley covers the same ground in her upcoming Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential To Transform Ourselves, but Begley actually demonstrates how the topic is important to the average person. With stories of those whose lives have been saved or improved through training based on neuroplastic theories, Doidge's book is much more engaging for lay readers. Recommended for most libraries.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
An utterly wonderful book - without question one of the most
important books about the brain you will ever read; yet it is
beautifully written, immensely approachable, and full of humanity.
Its message is one of hope: it is not just our brains that shape
our thinking, but our thinking that, very definitely, shapes our
The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. Miracle-making stuff -- Abigail Zuger * The New York Times *
Doidge has identified a tidal shift in basic science and a potential one in medicine. The implications are monumental -- Penny Wark * The Times *
A wonderful and engaging way of re-imagining what kind of creatures we are -- Jeanette Winterson * The Guardian *
A remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain -- Oliver Sacks * author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat *