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Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life Paperback – July 27, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Parnassus Publishing; 1 edition (July 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989432807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989432801
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Michael Merzenich, PhD is a Professor Emeritus at the University of California at San Francisco, a member of both the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine, and the co-founder of Scientific Learning and Posit Science. Often called "the father of brain plasticity," he is one of the scientists responsible for our current understanding of brain change across the lifespan. To learn more, visit www.soft-wired.com.

Customer Reviews

The book is very well written and easy for a non-scientific mind to follow.
John Masters
I first came across Dr. Merzenich and his work in my other reading - 'The Brain that Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge.
John S. Jones
I will definitely start doing the brain exercises tomorrow and as many of the life exercises that I can.
Shelly Lefkoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By John S. Jones on August 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I first came across Dr. Merzenich and his work in my other reading - 'The Brain that Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge.

The Irish neuroscientist Ian Robertson has described Merzenich as "the world's leading researcher on brain plasticity." (From Doidge's book, p 45)

In addition to Dr. Merzenich pioneering brain plasticity, often in opposition to his peers and against mainstream conventional wisdom, his work extends beyond the lab into practice and application. He has founded several companies that are treating patients who have been resistant to conventional treatment. These are individuals with developmental problems such as language and speech problems and autism. His work also exposes the inadequacy of much conventional treatment.

I am a layperson.

I have been on an odyssey of seeking answers to our adult son's treatment-resistant major bi-polar depression - going on for over three years. He lives with my wife and I and is no longer able to work. He was a high functioning successful professional. He has and continues to run the gamut of every main stream conventional treatment. He has also tried a new treatment still in the research phase of development. This new treatment is based on the relatively recent discoveries in neuroscience about the role of glial cells.

Dr. Merzenich has breathed new hope into our quest for restoring our son's mental health - and beyond merely bringing him out of his depression.

However, the scope Dr. Merzenich's book is much broader than this. It goes beyond the scope of depression. He shows how age related mental decline and disease such as alheizemers are not inevitably determined by fate.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By erica on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am totally fascinated by all things related to the brain, so i was excited to hear that Dr. Michael Merzenich, a pioneering researcher whose work I admire had a new book out. And I'm so glad I found it. This book is not always an easy, breezy read, as it gets pretty down and dirty with scientific terms and at-times, complicated explanations of how the brain works. But that is whats cool about it. The book helped me understand more about one of the most complex organisms on earth. If you're a brain junkie like me, you'll love learning the ins and outs of how our brains are developed and grow throughout our lifespans, making us who we are.
Most importantly - Merzenich prescribes concrete, actionable advice for how we can all change our brains, and our lives, at any age. Truly groundbreaking research from a compelling writer. I recommend it!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Becca Chopra VINE VOICE on September 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Did you know that brain plasticity holds the key to slowing the signs of aging? If not, keep reading.

I was interested in this book as a means to learn more about rewiring the brain after chemical injury. But reading Dr. Merzenich's comprehensive history of brain plasticity and how he helped pioneer this field, I learned how it can be applied by everyone and anyone to help them recover from health issues of most any kind, and to slow the effects of aging... to make us all stronger, more capable, competent and even more intelligent.

"Plasticity is all about getting the most out of each brain, for the potential betterment of each human life, at any time throughout that life," writes Dr. Merzenich.

I wish my mother had tried BrainHQ exercises before she succumbed to most of the symptoms we all associate with an aging person -- poor memory, difficulty understanding conversations when people speak quickly or there's a lot of background noise, trouble falling asleep at night and then waking up during the day, slow reactions (she recently hit a tree with her car, unable to move her foot off the gas pedal quickly enough). You may laugh, but I'm smiling, because Dr. Merzenich says it's never too late to rewire your brain, and I'm going to make sure both she and I put in time every day doing the necessary exercises to make our brains more alert, more focused, more fit.

I've already shared the simple suggestions that Dr.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nick Barrionuevo on November 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read and shared so many of the points raised in this book. A real life changer if you like to think that you have some control of your brain's future.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Masters on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book I have been looking for over many years. There are many books explaining ways to keep your brain 'fit' well into old age, but if you explore their research and other support, they most often fail to meet a high standard of independent research or depth of analysis.

Soft-Wired is an excellent book supported by decades of rigorous scientific testing and testimonials of people who have greatly benefited from the brain exercises available in the PositScience website. I have been using the PositScience exercises for 3 months and notice marked improvements in listening ability, short term memory, sharper reactions etc. This book accompanies the exercises perfectly in that you get to fully understand how they 'soft-wire your brain to develop your full potential. The book is very well written and easy for a non-scientific mind to follow.

If you have ever witnessed the effects of declining brain function in those close to you, Dr Merzenich's book will be an inspiration to explore this exciting new science and enjoy the later years with a youthful brain.
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