If you have talked to me for at least 15 minutes, you’ve probably heard me rant about neuroplasticity (ok, that’s an exaggeration). What is neuroplasticity? It means that the brain changes itself (thus the appropriately named book). Doidge’s book is a stroll through the new research findings that we, as adults, can change our own brains – without surgery or medicine. He describes a man who, with the help of his son, recovers fully from a disabling stroke. He tells of new technology that enables the blind to see – through a camera and their skin (by the way, you can find even newer technology on the web – google “tasting the light”). Doidge subtly turns a number of popular “truths” on their heads. The advances in neurobiology no longer support them. I’ll let you find those on your own.
Quibble: I’ve told some people to avoid the whole chapter “Acquiring Tastes and Loves” – I now amend that advice. Most of the chapter is instructive, but for the love of Mike, please skip the last five pages. Trust me, what has been read cannot be unread. It still troubles me. (After the sincere warning, some of you will turn straight to it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)