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'An utterly wonderful book - without question one of the most important books about the brain you will ever read' Iain McGilchrist MA, author of The Master and His Emissary
Meet the ninety-year-old doctor who is still practicing medicine, the stroke victim who learned to move and talk again and the woman with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole. All these people had their lives transformed by the remarkable discovery that our brains can repair themselves through the power of positive thinking.
Here bestselling author, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge reveals the secrets of the cutting-edge science of 'neuroplasticity'. He introduces incredible case histories - blind people helped to see, IQs raised and memories sharpened - and tells the stories of the maverick scientists who are overturning centuries of assumptions about the brain.
This inspiring book will leave you with a sense of wonder at the capabilities of the mind, and the self-healing power that lies within all of us.
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.