The Brain That Changes Itself

In “The Brain That Changes Itself” author Norman Doidge, M.D. presents a case for neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to change. He visits with professionals, parents, and patients affected by various brain and nerve disorders in order to discover if the brain is a machine governed by the sum of its parts, or a living organism which can change and adapt to trauma. 

Written in a style which can be easily grasped by laymen, “The Brain That Changes Itself” provides a hopeful outlook for the human brain. Spoiler alert: the findings suggest that the brain CAN change itself. Far more than a three pound lump of tissue in your skull, your brain is constantly adjusting to the stimuli you give it. This is fantastic news for the many kinds of trauma humans undergo every day. Doidge finds examples of people overcoming physical disabilities as well as mental and emotional handicaps. 

I highly recommend this book if only for the chance to see Romans 12:2 in action: “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This book is not written from a Christian perspective, but it confirms something I have long believed - the human brain is one of God’s greatest masterpieces.

Christian Cautions: In chapter 4, “Acquiring Tastes and Loves” there are explicit descriptions of various sexual situations including some abuse. These are clinical in nature, and given to illustrate the point being made, nonetheless, those sensitive to such descriptions may want to skip the chapter altogether. 

There is mild language throughout the book.

There is a reliance on the theory of evolution to explain the “whys” of neuroplasticity.