Small Publisher of the Year 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006 

‘Fascinating synopsis of the revolution in neuroscience shows that the age-old distinction between the brain and the mind is crumbling fast as the power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility.’

National Post (holiday book guide)

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.

Psychiatrist and researcher Norman Doidge, MD, travelled around the United States to meet the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed — people whose mental limitations or brain damage were previously seen as unalterable, and whose conditions had long been dismissed as hopeless.

We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole; a woman labelled retarded who cured her deficits with brain exercises and now cures those of others; blind people who learn to see; learning disorders cured; IQs raised; ageing brains rejuvenated; stroke patients recovering their faculties; children with cerebral palsy learning to move more gracefully; entrenched depression and anxiety disappearing; and lifelong character traits changed.

Doidge takes us onto terrain that might seem fantastic. We learn that our thoughts can switch our genes on and off, altering our brain anatomy. We learn how people of average intelligence can, with brain exercises, improve their cognition and perception, develop muscle strength, or learn to play a musical instrument — simply by imagining doing so.

Using personal stories from the heart of this neuroplasticity revolution, Dr Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.


‘It takes a rare talent to explain science to the rest of us. Oliver Sacks is a master at this … And now there is Norman Doidge … To benefit from a concept, one must first grasp it, and that is what makes The Brain That Changes Itself such a terrific book. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to read it — just a person with a curious mind. Doidge is the best possible guide. He has a fluent and unassuming style, and is able to explain difficult concepts without talking down to his readers … Doidge [is] a top-notch writer … Buy this book. Your brain will thank you.’

Globe & Mail

‘With detailed case studies reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, combined with extensive interviews with lead researchers, Doidge … slowly turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down … Doidge writes interestingly and engagingly about some of the least understood marvels of the brain.’

Publishers Weekly

Doidge ‘has a knack for translating scientific jargon into plain English … This is an enjoyable read, an impressive translation of neuroscience for a lay audience. It will interest anyone who wants to know more about how the brain works.’

Winnipeg Free Press
» All reviews for this title

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