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Showing 1-10 of 608 reviews(5 star, Verified Purchases). See all 982 reviews
on April 23, 2016
I was born with Cerebral Palsy in 1949. In those days, Neurology was not a medicine. I saw my first neurologist when I was 27 due to seizures. I then had my first ever EEG. At my follow up appointment, this doctor questioned my occupation as a violinist. He said it was impossible for me to play the violin because the right side of my brain did not function properly. I then told him he could come to a symphony rehearsal that following week, he did and was so shocked that he said that I had done the same thing as climbing Mt. Everest. The truth of the matter, instrumental music started in my school in the 4th grade. I really wanted to play and instrument. My grandfather had a violin and that was it. Little did I know that the orthopedist that I saw suggested that I begin something like music for physical therapy for my left arm and hand. I only knew that I could not walk without a brace until I was 16. I was very strong willed and I thought that everyone who was right handed - the left hand did not work. I was very determine and went to college as a Music Education Major with violin being my instrument. I always told people who ask what my walking problem was, that I had to make detours in my brain to my left leg and if I was tired, my brain didn't send the messages. I FELT LIKE THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN ABOUT ME. Today they call what I accomplished as Neuroplasticity. I have been teaching violin for over 42 years and have had many wonderful students along with my Symphony work.
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on March 11, 2014
We have all heard the phrases: “mind over matter” and “I think therefore I am.” Many of us are also aware of the debate surrounding the mind-body connection or disconnection. The separation of mind/body is evident in our medical system where you see certain specialists for “medical” issues and others for “mental health” issues. One of the lovely things about this book is the theme of blending together the mind and body.

Dr. Norman Doidge shares many different stories through this book showing how the mind and body work together, how we learn, how we unlearn, and how to recover from brain damage. The one word that covers the content of this book is neuroplasticity which is defined as the brains ability to adapt and change its function depending on situation and “rewire” itself should it become damaged.

There are stories of individuals ridding themselves of phantom limbs, recovering from strokes to a degree that was thought impossible, living with half of a brain, curing incurable vertigo, recovering from deep depression, successfully treating learning disabilities, and more. Each story is about a real person – their struggles and triumph, and the practitioners who helped them. There are also cautionary tales about habits and chronic pain conditions.

I would warn the reader that there is discussion of invasive experimentation on animals, and the fact that the material is quite dense at times. All in all, this is a book that can be read cover to cover or story by story while being picked up and set down several times – this is how I read it. The material is interesting enough, and important enough to take one’s time with.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding how the brain works.
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on November 17, 2014
Everyone who has a brain should read this book!! It is life changing! This book will empower. It will make you think about what you are doing with your brain and what kind of information, experiences, and conversations you are putting into it. We are what we think!

For people who have suffered any kind of brain trauma this book is especially helpful and hopeful. Neuroplasticity is how we remap our brains after an injury. Family members of a brain injury survivor will gain a lot of understanding about how to support and encourage their loved one.

Lastly, this book is very well written. Doidge is a great storyteller! He starts out each chapter with a story about someone and utilizes that as a vehicle to explain the science, research, and neuroplasticity. The book is also well read. (With the exception that the narrator mispronounces amygdala a few times!) I own both a print and audiobook version.
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on May 12, 2017
I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystraphy it was caught two years to late from the beginning of the crippling symptoms. 15 years after stage one which had been misdiagnosed. I bought this book for a better understanding of plastictic pain. Most people along with health care providers don't know what RSD other name CRPS is. The book chapter on pain gave me a better understanding and a clear way I can start describing to others.
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on March 30, 2015
Norman Doidge delayed medical school to help his father, who had suffered a stroke. He went then on to school to get his rehadilitation certificate then on to medical school. He retained his interest in rehabilitation, focusing on the brain which changed itself, or showed plasticity. He traveled the world looking for people who had worked to change their brains to overcome the source of their issues. His stories are inspiring. One is about a woman who was born with half a brain and trained herself to do those brain functions which she needed to do as a teacher, choosing carefully because of having room in half a brain whereas most people have a whole brain. [Whether they use it or not...]

At first one thinks that is a mechanism that can save our world, changing violent, unempathetic, psychotic people to those who care about the world and the people in it. But then comes the realization that it is only the very attentive and self-disciplined people who can create and follow the routines that would lead to brain change.

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on July 2, 2015
Throw away the self-help books and other useless reading. This is just fantastic book not only about brain and neuroplasticity but also about human development. Read this book, just read it! Whatever if you are mom with kids, student at school, startup-man, athlete or taxi driver. If you want understand why we/you/everybody do things some way, or you have some disorder and your doctor is saying to you that you are f***ed up for your entire life, developing new habit, fighting with addiction, move better, love better, live better.... Read it.
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on July 6, 2015
This is one of the best books that I have read! I really recommend this book to anyone dealing in chronic pain or any disability. This book will make you realize that anything is possible in this life. A man that had a stroke and only had 10% of his brain, was able to regain all of his movement, memory, and speech. Please, read this book. I have recommended this book even to my doctors.
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on March 8, 2014
I consider that finding this audio book was an absolute stroke of luck. I purchased it two days after hearing the first two discs in the set which I had borrowed from the library. The discs confirmed everything I had been telling my colleagues for at least ten years. Many of them refused to believe me. Being a woman and an educator who is 'getting on' in life, I tried to tell them that intelligence does not necessarily diminish because of age or some disabilities; it, like the body, if active,remains in good working condition or improves. The brain of an older person may not zip through IQ tests as quickly--and I feel that this is due to the amount of information stored in it. Try zipping through an IQ test at age 70 having read more than 1,000 books on subjects nearly as varied and see if you can call up an answer as quickly as a Freshman student of 18 who has attended schools where reading was used only as a means of measuring the bell curve. See how they do with respect to critical analysis when writing a paper. Of course in a country where youth is worshiped and elders considered disposable, my opinion was of little value to those who genuflect at the shrine of youth. I welcome the opportunity to prove that plasticity does exist at many levels using the audio discs. I have worked with students who were placed in spec-ed classes or remedial classes in college. I was astounded to find that many of them did not belong there. One spec-ed student was an "A" student. He discussed his papers and other work with me before presenting them. My remedial English students were given a note from the Department Chairman which read, "Dr. McMichael has misplaced a packet of papers; if you find THEM please return THEM to him." My remedial students read the note and said, this is grammatically incorrect. It should read, "Dr. McMichael has misplaced a packet of papers; if you find IT, please return IT to him."

Bonita Evans, Ph.D.
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on May 19, 2016
Stunning writing from Norman Doidge in his second book on new discoveries and therapies for our brains. As with his first book the writing is lucid and compelling with highly informative background stories to ground-breaking therapists. At every turn these discoveries challenge conventional medical teaching from a few decades ago which visualised the brain more as a computer control centre for the body. Certain areas of the brain controlled specific functions and activities. Injuries and strokes permanently affecting these areas would result in long term loss of those functions. Also we were taught the brain could not repair itself lacking stem-type cells to facilitate this. Nobel Prize winning discoveries have shown the limited understanding of this approach. These stories give hope and new therapeutic possibilities to many of the debilitating and challenging medical issues many face. The brain and body are revealed as a much more integrated unit. Read this to blow your mind, to be open to even more dramatic possibilities for our future.

I have read some comment that these changes could be explained by the placebo effect. Either this comment was not based on reading the book, or from not fully engaging with its content. There is no way placebo effects could explain the pervasive and dramatic changes ground-breaking therapists are bringing with mental, to physical to sound-based and other exercises.
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on July 30, 2014
This is a fascinating and detailed book on the power of neuroplasticity from a neuroscientist/psychoanalyst. It's not a how-to, but it will inspire you with the possibilities, such as overcoming OCD, depression, and bad habits. Research shows that people who learn about neuroplasticity are more successful, happier, and even healthier; apparently because when we understand that change is possible, we work harder to create the change we want.
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