File Size: 1838 KB
Print Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (March 15, 2007)
Publication Date: March 15, 2007
During young age the brain is very plastic and through a process implanted in our innate code and practiced thousands of years cognitive functions are created in our brain, almost the same way for everyone. After that, the plasticity is reduced, but not eliminated. The truly amazing news is that adults can alter the structure of the brain mimicking the young children and find out new skills through practice and powerful reward/punishment training regime.
Norman Doidge provides incredible examples of massive changes in the way our brain functions. Mostly, the examples come from people with extreme experience, especially in the class of individuals who suffered brain damage as result of a heart attack or mishaps. The general progress occurs generally out from the popular media and daily headlines, however a blend of changing of attitude in the scientific community and advances in neuroscience and technology is slowly moving up and it promises to have a substantial impact on our lives.
It is outstanding though how important is the brain activity. Simple training and varied activities centered on learning new skills can keep the brain healthy until late years is obviously.
Norman Doidge provides an unusual portrait of Sigmund Freud (unusual to me) as a precursor of neuroplasticity. Freud developed four principles of plasticity: association of neurons, emotional critical phase, transcribing memory space and transference. The author takes time to describe these principles intertwining the idea with his own personal experience as a psychoanalyst. To his credit, it makes you think how many learned experience are deep down there in our mind limiting your potential and that could be "un-learned" following a system to free all of us from those limitations and make us better individuals. The book does not describe the system, other than to say it can be done and report a few pioneers during a call that do this through private institutions (Mezernich, Edward cullen Taub, etc)
The publication arrives to similar findings to researchers when discussing about reaching mastery through practice. If you have a theme here is that you can achieve a lot through practice. We know this, however the extent to which we can achieve success is far beyond what we normally believe.
It really is interesting to read the comments on the influence of culture on our brain architecture. The major buildings are determined during our younger years, and after that we rapidly loose the opportunity to adapt to new cultures. Migrants rewire their brains and a lot of expensive energy going into the effort of assimilation.
This particular is a positive publication; much more a very good read without using intricate terminology. It makes you think a little more about what makes you think the way you think. Additionally it is optimistic. It is well timed as we move into a time of rapid change. We will find out more and we will extend the young adulthood until late years in life because life is asking us to do so. At times the book spends considerable time dealing with psychoanalysis classes conducted by Norman Doidge with some of his clients and although there are lessons to be figured out from that, it dilutes the overall powerful concept of the book: normal adults can learn and change and achieve so much more. I feel the book does not dwell enough in the area of adult learning, probably because we are still yet to create a new system for education and training that is widely accepted and recognised., One of the best book I possess read in a long time. I purchased the Kindle Book version. Now, We can read this book on my phone during travel or perhaps in my patio in the backyard. On my computer when I'm at home, or on my smart TV when Now i'm in bed., Inspiring reading for those dealing with brain injuries and problems. How realistic it is, I can't answer yet. We are only six months out of a serious brain injury. From what I am learning, many patients will never achieve the degree of function described in this book. But it provides a lot of desire, and without that, recovery will be even more limited. Note: the publication is not about brain injury per se but some from it applies to brain injuries., Excellent publication. Recommend to anyone looking to change thinking patterns, or anyone struggling with autism, ADHD, etc. Is actually very informative and vision opening.
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