I have just finished reading Norman Doidge MD's book by this name.
It is subtitled 'Stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of Brain Science'.
Norman Doidge, MD, a psychiatrist and researcher, set out to investigate neuroplasticity and met both the brilliant scientists championing it and the
people whose lives they’ve transformed.
The Brain is a plastic, living organ that can actually change its own structure and function, even into old age. Arguably the most important
breakthrough in neuroscience since scientists first sketched out the brain’s basic anatomy, this revolutionary discovery, called neuroplasticity,
promises to overthrow the centuries-old notion that the brain is fixed and unchanging. The brain is not, as was thought, like a machine, or
“hardwired” like a computer. Neuroplasticity not only gives hope to those with mental limitations, or what was thought to be incurable brain
damage, but expands our understanding of the healthy brain and the resilience of human nature.
A riveting collection of case histories detailing the astonishing progress of people whose conditions had long been dismissed as hopeless. We see a
woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, a woman labeled retarded who cured her deficits with brain exercises and now
cures those of others, blind people learning to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, painful phantom limbs erased,
stroke patients recovering their faculties, children with cerebral palsy learning to move more gracefully, entrenched depression and anxiety
disappearing, and lifelong character traits altered.
Doidge takes us into terrain that might seem fantastic. We learn that our thoughts can switch our genes on and off, altering our brain anatomy.
Scientists have developed machines that can follow these physical changes in order to read people’s thoughts, allowing the paralyzed to control
computers and electronics just by thinking. We learn how people of average intelligence can, with brain exercises, improve their cognition and
perception in order to become savant calculators, develop muscle strength, or learn to play a musical instrument, simply by imagining doing so.
Using personal stories from the heart of this neuroplasticity revolution, Dr. Doidge explores the profound implications of the changing brain for
understanding the mysteries of love, sexual attraction, taste, culture and education in an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently
alter the way we look at human possibility and human nature.
[edit on 7/12/09 by troubleshooter]