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The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science Paperback – 7 Aug 2008
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Really remarkable ... haunting and memorable. (Northrop Frye) "Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff with implications for all human beings." -"The New York Times" "A remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain." -Oliver Sacks "The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility." -"The New York Times" aMind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff with implications for all human beings.a a"The New York Times" aA remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.a aOliver Sacks aThe power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility.a a"The New York Times" Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff with implications for all human beings. "The New York Times" A remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain. Oliver Sacks The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. "The New York Times"
About the Author
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.
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Example 1: video signals can be fed from an electronic camera to brain through tongue, brain on its own figure it out that the signals coming from tongue are not corresponding to taste but rather of vision and reroute the signals to the area of the brain that processes visual signals (from eyes) where the signals are decoded and person can see the image being captured by video camera- without using eyes!!! Great potential for blind population which has blindness due to eyes problems (and not due to brain itself- like in stroke)!
Example 2: paralysed people can regain movement of affected part! it is demonstrated through experiments that movement can be learnt again. when the brain area controlling movement is damaged due to stroke or haemorrhage, neighbouring brain area can take over its role provided regular training is given for a period of time. Real reason of a part remaining impacted is that the people shift the burden to other limb and do not attempt to make the affected part work after a while believing that it can't be used forever!
Why to read this book:
none of us is having a perfect brain. we or people we love may be struggling with brain handicaps without being aware of it - and which can be easily addressed provided they are identified!
we may attribute many of our weaknesses to lack of interest, effort, potential, etc. We are good at finding some reason, answer to observed phenomenon. we accept easy explanations... for example, if a student is poor in maths.. usual explanation is: he doesn't put enough effort/ he doesn't like math/ he doesn't have potential for math, etc.
even seemingly normal people may be having difficulty in certain areas and are not even aware about it- like some student may be having problem in maths, like one of the scientist's story in this book, though he/she may be bright in other few subjects. This may be attributed to a small area in the brain which needs to be strengthened. and when exercises aimed at that particular area of the brain are undertaken difficulty in maths problem evaporated!
this approach is very different from the one which aims to train the brain as a whole. Here the cause of poor performance in specific domain (like maths) is pin pointed to specific area/region of the brain and then that specific brain region is targeted with very specific exercises (like, clock reading exercise where the clock has 10 hands instead of usual 3 of hour, minute, second).
It is a perfect book except the paragraphs are not 'justified' in the kindle version. The author should have included pictures of scientific equipments, brain parts and more to make the book more interesting.
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