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The Plastic Mind: New science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves Paperback – October 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

There are two great things about this book. One is that it shows us how nothing about our brains is set in stone. The other is that it is written by Sharon Begley, one of the best science writers around. This is a terrific book. -- Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers It is very seldom that a science in its infancy is so skilfully unpacked that it reads like a detective novel. Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses -- Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses Brilliant Health Writer

About the Author

Sharon Begley, science columnist for the Wall Street Journal and was previously the senior science writer at Newsweek. She is the co-author of The Mind and the Brain.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845296745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845296742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,458,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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24 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Maria A. Klinger on October 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hold it. The text is the same as in: Train Your Mind Change Your Brain.
This one here is just a new edition, with a different title.
Somewhere someone made a mistake.
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Format: Paperback
The Plastic Mind: New science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves, by Sharon Begley, Ballantine, New York, 2007; Constable, London, 2009, 368 ff.

Sharon Begley is the science columnist at Newsweek magazine. She is also the co-author with Jeffrey Schwartz of The Mind and The Brain that explores a similar theme to that in this book. The book grew out of a seminar of leading neuroscientists meeting in Dharamsala, India, at the home of the present Dalai Lama, who wrote the Foreword to the book.

The main theme of the book, as is obvious from the title, is that the functions of the human brain and mind are not totally prescribed genetically at birth. This should have been apparent centuries ago as it was obvious that we all learn innumerable things as we grow older. So the brain could not possibly be a wholly static organ. Eastern meditative practices in particular have long been known to alter perceptions in the physical body - resistance to heat and cold, ability to go without food or sleep, etc. This book describes the extent of this neuroplasticity and how it can be developed.

After the introductory chapter we are regaled with the disturbing details of the experiments performed on the so-called Silver Spring monkeys - experiments that triggered the animal rights movement. Moving on, the next two chapters deal with the presentations from two of the five distinguished neuroscientists at the gathering: Fred Gage and Helen Neville. After two chapters dealing with the neuroplasticity theme and the contributions made by other scientists, we have three more chapters devoted each in turn to the three remaining guest speakers: Michael Meaney, Phillip Shaver and Richard Davidson.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By catscience on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easy to read for scientists and non-scientists alike. This book brought me a sense of hope.
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