Regular price: £26.29

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

An astonishing new scientific discovery called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the adult human brain is fixed and unchanging. It is, instead, able to change its own structure and function, even into old age.

In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed.

©2007 Norman Doidge (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

“A remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.” (Oliver Sacks)
“Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff with implications for all human beings.” ( The New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    98
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    82
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting topic, strange focus

What did you like best about The Brain that Changes Itself? What did you like least?

I liked that the book did give examples of real world evidence of plasticity and of the changing of the scientific mindset

Has The Brain that Changes Itself put you off other books in this genre?

No, although I will likely not put myself through listening to the whole thing if I'm not enjoying it again

What about Jim Bond’s performance did you like?

Well read, nice voice and good pace

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

This book focuses so, so much on the "problem". You hear about what was wrong with someone in graphic, lengthy detail. Some of it is really not pleasant and, to my mind, not relevant. There is a fair amount of academic excess - 10 pages to say what could be said in 1 page, but that wouldn't be such a problem if the author just got on with tellings us about the topic (brains adapting) and less about people putting a nail through their genitals... In print, you could easily skip past that stuff, much less able to do that if you're listening to it while driving.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Incredible, but not credible

I really wanted to like this book, and at first I did. Quite soon however, I started questioning it at a very fundamental level, to the point where I eventually felt that I couldn't really trust the conclusions. I felt it was sold to me as a means for a layman to understand a complicated area of science, but when looking closer I felt it really lacked a proper scientific approach. Every conclusion in the book was presented using such supreme certainty, in a field where virtually everything is up for debate. I just couldn't believe that the author could know all of that without even a shadow of a doubt.

Some serious warning lights finally started flashing when the author started bringing up Freud left right and center. I mean, perhaps the guy had some good points. But the author discussed Freud as if virtually everything he stood for had been vindicated by the theory of plasticity. Furthermore, like Freud, he kept using his narrow studies and anecdotes to justify a series of extremely moralising conclusions on society.

I didn't hate this book and it certainly inspired me to read more on the subject. However, I cannot recommend it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A must listen

I do feel that this book would possibly be a better read than listen as it's something I would like to dip in and out of, choosing the most interesting parts. However as I am currently unable to read I am very grateful that it is available on audio. For anyone like myself, who has a chronic pain condition and a belief in neural plasticity- ie the brain's ability to change- this is a must listen. It is an inspiring listen and fills me with real hope and positivity. I especially liked hearing the stories of those whose lives have been transformed by neural plasticity and wish there were more of these.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible learning experience

Strongly recommend this to anyone. It is a real eye opener on the brain. The concept of the "plastic paradox" is important for all of us to understand

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

very informative

A well written book and a fascinating subject. Highly recommended reading or a good audio book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Informative, interesting and a pleasure to listen

This audio book is great if you struggle to read or don't have the time to read. It's informative, and interesting right until the end.
I'd recommend it to anyone interested in this topic.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Read by a robot?

I was keen to read this book and fascinated by the subject matter. However, my enjoyment was completely ruined by the reader. His robotic like voice did not flow, places inflections where they should not be and lacked rise and fall where they should be.... completely odd to listen to and very distracting. Disappointing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I found this book very informative and thought provoking. I even started online btain training according to dr Merzenick programme.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Difficult but compelling book

Based entirely upon science, no instances of conjecture or false inferences, cold hard facts. Great book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
  • 08-06-16

Wow!

Extremely interesting, fascinating read. So much traditional medical knowledge is a load of rubbish! All doctors should read this book!

However, I would get a paper version. The narrator has such a monotonous droning way of speaking, and his intonation is so strange sometimes the meaning of the sentence is lost by emphasising the wrong word.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Russell
  • 25-10-11

Intriguing insight into the workings of the brain

This is a great 'read' if you are interested in the way the brain works and particularly how the brain manages to repair itself or work around obstacles to keep the body functioning. Its also professionally narrated. It talks about perceptions, how the brain deals with pain (it "allows" pain signals for example) and what it does if the body loses an eye or a limb by remapping parts of the brain to compensate, or how, in some cases, it fails such as phantom limb syndrome. I found it fascinating and insightful and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has a keen interest in science and research or human perception.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-10-15

Seminal review of the area

Loved it and reminded of our need to be honest with ourselves about our level of knowledge.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cal
  • 16-07-15

Amazing, thought provoking stuff

What made the experience of listening to The Brain that Changes Itself the most enjoyable?

The concept of brain changes occurring from such unconventional treatments is truly fascinating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Brain that Changes Itself?

The chapters on light and sound therapy and the scope of conditions they assist with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • 28-12-12

Remarkable

What an amazing book. I now feel like I can achieve anything. For so many people to accomplish so much with such adversity is unbelieveable

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • N
  • 20-02-12

A dishonest book, it is not evidence based science

What disappointed you about The Brain that Changes Itself?

It started off promisingly, neuroplasticity is real, but the author distorts the topic so much that in the end you can't tell fact from fiction.

What was most disappointing about Norman Doidge’s story?

His personal biases, (he has many). For example he rams is unproven idea that god exists down your throat in a patronizing manner. He pushes these commercial entities making a buck off neuroplasticity with what seems to be an uncritical eye.and on and on... Just because he is an MD does not make him right.

Which scene was your favorite?

The girl who was born with half a brain and made good use of it, without any help.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Snake oil sales men will make a lot of money from this book, so I guess sadness that many people will be sucked in.

Any additional comments?

No additional comments.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful