Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, MD

Throughout medical history, doctors were always taught that the brain was hardwired and once it was damaged in any way, it couldn't be repaired.  This book proves otherwise in the most inspiring way.  Norman Doidge takes us through the intricacies of the human brain - as well as our closest primate - showing us examples of brain mapping and how it has affected us through our lives.  An absolutely positive read without getting anyone lost in the process.

I personally have wanted this book from the moment I saw it on the shelves a few years ago at 'The River Bend Bookstore'.  However, I couldn't afford it then; and almost couldn't afford it when I bought it this year.  But, once I watched the program based on it and watched the programs on 'Catalyst' (a science show on the ABC here in Australia), I just had to own it and read it for myself.
Now, non-fiction takes a little while longer for me to read because of the facts and figures in it.  And so, when I found that a lot of the information in this book sounded very familiar to me, I was often left wondering how my brain had been affected.  You see, I have a patch on my brain that hasn't worked since I was 2 years old.  It was an area that had to do with mathematics and numbers.  Through my life, I have tried to understand numbers; and failed.  However, I have gotten into doing a number of other things and left the numbers because they don't really matter anymore to me.  This book most certainly affected me in a way that I will read it again (but will not do another review because of this one), but not for a while. 
If you really want to know more about the brain in terms that are easily understood, this is most definitely the book for you.  The book is bigger than it looks as it's got summaries in the back of each chapter and an index and two appendixes; the latter of which are worth reading.

Norman Doidge, MD is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist and poet.  He is on the research faculty at Columbia University's Centre of Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York, and the University of Toronto's Department of Psychiatry.  He is a native of Toronto.
I have found his official website.  However, there's so much information about his life, I'm not sure what to put up here, so I've decided to put his link on the side bar for you to go and have a look at it.

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