I first discovered Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Changes Itself, in a May, 2007 review in the New York Times. Intrigued, but caught up in myriad end-of-school-year responsibilities, the book was put out of my mind until later that summer, when our schools learning specialist emailed to say she had just finished a fascinating book. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stores of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, is a compelling collection of tales about the amazing abilities of the brain to rewire, readjust and relearn after having a slice of itself rendered dysfunctional. The first seven chapters captivated me for their personal stories; the final four chapters for the science and philosophy.
Part of what makes Doidge’s writing so accessible is he tells stories, and his stories just happen to incorporate brain science. As a result, his book is easy to digest. The neuroscience behind Doidge’s book involves neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rewire itself. This means that the brain is our intelligence is not something fixed in concrete but rather a changing, learning entity. On the face of it, this concept should not sound unusual, for it is what happens to individuals all the time as we go about the learning process, from infancy onwards.
What separates the stories in this book from daily learning is that [Read more…] about Neuroplasticity and the Brain That Changes Itself