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ి Format Kindle Read @The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science For Free ಊ Author Norman Doidge ಔ

ి Format Kindle Read @The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science For Free ಊ Author Norman Doidge ಔ ి Format Kindle Read @The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science For Free ಊ Author Norman Doidge ಔ PENGUIN BOOKSTHE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELFNorman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and researcher on the faculty at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York and the University of Torontos department of psychiatry, as well as an author, essayist, and poet He is a four time recipient of Canadas National Magazine Gold Award He divides his time between Toronto and New York.A Slate Pick for a Best Book of the YearA Globe Mail Best Book of the YearPraise for The Brain That Changes ItselfDoidges book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain Only a few decades ago, scientists considered the brain to be fixed or hardwired, and considered most forms of brain damage, therefore, to be incurable Dr Doidge, an eminent psychiatrist and researcher, was struck by how his patients own transformations belied this, and set out to explore the new science of neuroplasticity by interviewing both scientific pioneers in neuroscience and patients who have benefited from neurorehabilitation Here he describes in fascinating personal narratives how the brain, far from being fixed, has remarkable powers of changing its own structure and compensating for even the most challenging neurological conditions.Oliver SacksIn bookstores, the science aisle generally lies well away from the self help section, with hard reality on one set of shelves and wishful thinking on the other But Norman Doidges fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience straddles this gap the age old distinction between the brain and the mind is crumbling fast as the power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility Mind bending, miracle working, reality busting stuff, with implications not only for individual patients with neurologic disease but for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history. The New York TimesLucid and absolutely fascinating engaging, educational and riveting It satisfies, in equal measure, the mind and the heart Doidge is able to explain current research in neuroscience with clarity and thoroughness He presents the ordeals of the patients about whom he writespeople born with parts of their brains missing, people with learning disabilities, people recovering from strokeswith grace and vividness In the best medical narrativesand the works of Doidge join that fraternitythe narrow bridge between body and soul is traversed with courage and eloquence. Chicago TribuneReaders will want to read entire sections aloud and pass the book on to someone who can benefit from it Doidge links scientific experimentation with personal triumph in a way that inspires awe for the brain, and for these scientists faith in its capacity. The Washington PostDoidge tells one spellbinding story after another as he travels the globe interviewing the scientists and their subjects who are on the cutting edge of a new age Each story is interwoven with the latest in brain science, told in a manner that is both simple and compelling It may be hard to imagine that a book so rich in science can also be a page turner, but this one is hard to set down.Jeff Zimman, Posit Science, e newsletterIt takes a rare talent to explain science to the rest of us Oliver Sacks is a master at this So was the late Stephen Jay Gould And now there is Norman Doidge A terrific book You dont have to be a brain surgeon to read itjust 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 The case study is the psychiatric literary genre par excellence, and Doidge does not disappoint What makes neuroplasticity so exciting is that it completely upends how we look at the brain It says that the brain, far from being a collection of specialized parts, each fixed in its location and function, is in fact a dynamic organ, one that can rewire and rearrange itself as the need arises It is an insight from which all of us can benefit People with severe afflictionsstrokes, cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, learning disabilities, obsessive compulsive disorders and the likeare the most obvious candidates, but who among us would not like to tack on a few IQ points or improve our memories Buy this book Your brain will thank you. The Globe Mail Toronto The most readable and best general treatment of this subject to date.Michael M Merzenich, Ph.D., Francis Sooy Professor, Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences, University of California at San FranciscoA masterfully guided tour through the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity research. DiscoverNorman Doidges book is beautifully written and brings life and clarity to a variety of neuropsychiatric problems that affect children and adults With case histories that read like excellent short stories to illustrate each syndrome it reads a bit like a science detective story and is fun and manages to humanize an often baffling area of science and controversy It is aimed at the well educated lay readeryou do not need a Ph.D to benefit from the wisdom imparted here.Barbara Milrod, M.D Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityA riveting, essential book Doidge covers an impressive amount of ground and is an expert guide, a sense of wonder always enriching his skill as an explicator of subject matter that in less able hands could be daunting or even impenetrable These stories are most emotionally satisfying Doidge addresses how cultural influences literally shape our brain It becomes clear that our response to the world around us is not only a social or psychological phenomenon, but often a lasting neurological process. The Gazette Montreal Doidge provides a history of the research in this growing field, highlighting scientists at the edge of groundbreaking discoveries and telling fascinating stories of people who have benefited. Psychology TodayFor years, the conventional wisdom has been that the human brain remains fixed after early childhood, subject only to deterioration Children with mental limitations or adults suffering from brain injury can never hope to attain brain normality Not so, says Doidge He outlines the brains ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life Through numerous case studies, he describes stroke victims who have learned to move and speak again, senior citizens who have sharpened their memories, and children who have raised their IQs and overcome learning disabilities, among others The science, he predicts, will have ramifications for professionals in many fields, but especially for teachers of all types. Education WeekAstonishing This book will inevitably draw comparisons to the work of Oliver Sacks Doidge has a prodigious gift for rendering the highly technical highly readable Its hard to imagine a exciting topicor a better introduction to it. The Kitchener Waterloo RecordWeve long known that brain changes can affect our psychology and what we think Norman Doidge has shown that what and how we think can change our brains He has illuminated the foundations of psychological healing.Charles Hanly, Ph.D., President Elect, International Psychoanalytical AssociationA panoramic examination of plasticitys profound implications Injured or dysfunctional cells and circuits can indeed be regenerated and rewired the location of a given function can, astonishingly, move from one place to another The bodys lifespan may not have to outpace its mental lifespan Everything that you can see happen in a young brain can happen in an older brain Deterioration can be reversed by twenty to thirty years. Toronto Daily StarAn eloquently written book about the boundless potential of the human brain In addition to being a fascinating, informative and emotionally powerful read, it has the potential to enlighten parents about the incredible learning enhancing opportunities now available to them and their children Addresses learning disabilities in a unique way and could revolutionize the way educational issues are addressed. The Jewish WeekA rich banquet of brain mind plasticity, communicated in a brilliantly clear writing style.Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D., Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science, Washington State University Head, Affective Neuroscience Research, Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Northwestern University Distinguished Research Professor of Psychobiology, Emeritus, Bowling Green State UniversityWhy isnt this book on the top of the bestseller list of all time In my mind the recognition that the brain is plastic and can actually change itself with exercise and understanding is a huge leap in the history or mankindfar greater than landing on the moon Clear, fascinating, and gripping Dr Doidge gives new hope to everyone from the youngest to the oldest among us.Jane S Hall, International PsychoanalysisA hymn to life. Panorama Italy An owners manual for the brain, giving advice on how to maintain intellect and reasoning functions as we grow older, Doidges book gives the reader hope for the future I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of triumph against all odds Extremely engrossing, and always informative.Curled Up With a Good BookDoidge turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down. Publishers Weekly Praise for The Brain That Changes Itself Title Page Copyright DedicationNote to the ReaderPreface1A Woman Perpetually FallingRescued by the Man Who Discoveredthe Plasticity of Our Senses2Building Herself a Better BrainA Woman Labeled Retarded DiscoversHow to Heal Herself3Redesigning the BrainA Scientist Changes Brains to Sharpen Perception andMemory, Increase Speed of Thought, andHeal Learning Problems4Acquiring Tastes and LovesWhat Neuroplasticity Teaches Us AboutSexual Attraction and Love5Midnight ResurrectionsStroke Victims Learn to Move and Speak Again6Brain Lock UnlockedUsing Plasticity to Stop Worries, Obsessions,Compulsions,and Bad Habits7PainThe Dark Side of Plasticity8ImaginationHow Thinking Makes It So9Turning Our Ghosts into AncestorsPsychoanalysis as a Neuroplastic Therapy10RejuvenationThe Discovery of the Neuronal Stem Cell and Lessons for Preserving Our Brains11More than the Sum of Her PartsA Woman Shows Us How Radically Plastic the Brain Can BeAppendix 1The Culturally Modified BrainAppendix 2Plasticity and the Idea of ProgressAcknowledgmentsNotes and ReferencesIndex Note to the Reader All the names of people who have undergone neuroplastic transformations are real, except in the few places indicated, and in the cases of children and their families. The Notes and References section at the end of the book includes comments on both the chapters and the appendices. Preface This book is about the revolutionary discovery that the human brain can change itself, as told through the stories of the scientists, doctors, and patients who have together brought about these astonishing transformations Without operations or medications, they have made use of the brains hitherto unknown ability to change Some were patients who had what were thought to be incurable brain problems others were people without specific problems who simply wanted to improve the functioning of their brains or preserve them as they aged For four hundred years this venture would have been inconceivable because mainstream medicine and science believed that brain anatomy was fixed The common wisdom was that after childhood the brain changed only when it began the long process of decline that when brain cells failed to develop properly, or were injured, or died, they could not be replaced Nor could the brain ever alter its structure and find a new way to function if part of it was damaged The theory of the unchanging brain decreed that people who were born with brain or mental limitations, or who sustained brain damage, would be limited or damaged for life Scientists who wondered if the healthy brain might be improved or preserved through activity or mental exercise were told not to waste their time A neurological nihilisma sense that treatment for many brain problems was ineffective or even unwarrantedhad taken hold, and it spread through our culture, even stunting our overall view of human nature Since the brain could not change, human nature, which emerges from it, seemed necessarily fixed and unalterable as well. The belief that the brain could not change had three major sources the fact that brain damaged patients could so rarely make full recoveries our inability to observe the living brains microscopic activities and the ideadating back to the beginnings of modern sciencethat the brain is like a glorious machine And while machines do many extraordinary things, they dont change and grow. I became interested in the idea of a changing brain because of my work as a research psychiatrist and psychoanalyst When patients did not progress psychologically as much as hoped, often the conventional medical wisdom was that their problems were deeply hardwired into an unchangeable brain Hardwiring was another machine metaphor coming from the idea of the brain as computer hardware, with permanently connected circuits, each designed to perform a specific, unchangeable function. When I first heard news that the human brain might not be hardwired, I had to investigate and weigh the evidence for myself These investigations took me far from my consulting room. I began a series of travels, and in the process I met a band of brilliant scientists, at the frontiers of brain science, who had, in the late 1960s or early 1970s, made a series of unexpected discoveries They showed that the brain changed its very structure with each different activity it performed, perfecting its circuits so it was better suited to the task at hand If certain parts failed, then other parts could sometimes take over The machine metaphor, of the brain as an organ with specialized parts, could not fully account for changes the scientists were seeing They began to call this fundamental brain property neuroplasticity. Neuro is for neuron, the nerve cells in our brains and nervous systems Plastic is for changeable, malleable, modifiable At first many of the scientists didnt dare use the word neuroplasticity in their publications, and their peers belittled them for promoting a fanciful notion Yet they persisted, slowly overturning the doctrine of the unchanging brain They showed that children are not always stuck with the mental abilities they are born with that the damaged brain can often reorganize itself so that when one part fails, another can often substitute that if brain cells die, they can at times be replaced that many circuits and even basic reflexes that we think are hardwired are not One of these scientists even showed that thinking, learning, and acting can turn our genes on or off, thus shaping our brain anatomy and our behaviorsurely one of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century. In the course of my travels I met a scientist who enabled people who had been blind since birth to begin to see, another who enabled the deaf to hear I spoke with people who had had strokes decades before and had been declared incurable, who were helped to recover with neuroplastic treatments I met people whose learning disorders were cured and whose IQs were raised I saw evidence that it is possible for eighty year olds to sharpen their memories to function the way they did when they were fifty five I saw people rewire their brains with their thoughts, to cure previously incurable obsessions and traumas I spoke with Nobel laureates who were hotly debating how we must rethink our model of the brain now that we know it is ever changing. The idea that the brain can change its own structure and function through thought and activity is, I believe, the most important alteration in our view of the brain since we first sketched out its basic anatomy and the workings of its basic component, the neuron Like all revolutions, this one will have profound effects, and this book, I hope, will begin to show some of them The neuroplastic revolution has implications for, among other things, our understanding of how love, sex, grief, relationships, learning, addictions, culture, technology, and psychotherapies change our brains All of the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, insofar as they deal with human nature, are affected, as are all forms of training All of these disciplines will have to come to terms with the fact of the self changing brain and with the realization that the architecture of the brain differs from one person to the next and that it changes in the course of our individual lives. While the human brain has apparently underestimated itself, neuroplasticity isnt all good news it renders our brains not only resourceful but also vulnerable to outside influences Neuroplasticity has the power to produce flexible but also rigid behaviorsa phenomenon I call the plastic paradox Ironically, some of our most stubborn habits and disorders are products of our plasticity Once a particular plastic change occurs in the brain and becomes well established, it can prevent other changes from occurring It is by understanding both the positive and negative effects of plasticity that we can truly understand the extent of human possibilities. Because a new word is useful for those who do a new thing, I call the practitioners of this new science of changing brains neuroplasticians. What follows is the story of my encounters with them and the patients they have transformed. 1 A Woman Perpetually Falling Rescued by the Man Who Discoveredthe Plasticity of Our Senses And they saw the voices.EXODUS 20 18 Cheryl Schiltz feels like shes perpetually falling And because she feels like shes falling, she falls. When she stands up without support, she looks, within moments, as if she were standing on a precipice, about to plummet First her head wobbles and tilts to one side, and her arms reach out to try to stabilize her stance Soon her whole body is moving chaotically back and forth, and she looks like a person walking a tightrope in that frantic seesaw moment before losing his balanceexcept that both her feet are firmly planted on the ground, wide apart She doesnt look like she is only afraid of falling, like shes afraid of being pushed. You look like a person teetering on a bridge, I say. Yeah, I feel I am going to jump, even though I dont want to. Watching her closely, I can see that as she tries to stand still, she jerks, as though an invisible gang of hoodlums were pushing and shoving her, first from one side, then from another, cruelly trying to knock her over Only this gang is actually inside her and has been doing this to her for five years When she tries to walk, she has to hold on to a wall, and still she staggers like a drunk. For Cheryl there is no peace, even after shes fallen to the floor. What do you feel when youve fallen I ask her Does the sense of falling go away once youve landed There have been times, says Cheryl, when I literally lose the sense of the feeling of the floorand an imaginary trapdoor opens up and swallows me Even when she has fallen, she feels she is still falling, perpetually, into an infinite abyss. Cheryls problem is that her vestibular apparatus, the sensory organ for the balance system, isnt working She is very tired, and her sense that she is in free fall is driving her crazy because she cant think about anything else She fears the future Soon after her problem began, she lost her job as an international sales representative and now lives on a disability check of 1,000 a month She has a newfound fear of growing old And she has a rare form of anxiety that has no name. An unspoken and yet profound aspect of our well being is based on having a normally functioning sense of balance In the 1930s the psychiatrist Paul Schilder studied how a healthy sense of being and a stable body image are related to the vestibular sense When we talk of feeling settled or unsettled, balanced or unbalanced, rooted or rootless, grounded or ungrounded, we are speaking a vestibular language, the truth of which is fully apparent only in people like Cheryl Not surprisingly, people with her disorder often fall to pieces psychologically, and many have committed suicide. We have senses we dont know we haveuntil we lose them balance is one that normally works so well, so seamlessly, that it is not listed among the five that Aristotle described and was overlooked for centuries afterward. The balance system gives us our sense of orientation in space Its sense organ, the vestibular apparatus, consists of three semicircular canals in the inner ear that tell us when we are upright and how gravity is affecting our bodies by detecting motion in three dimensional space One canal detects movement in the horizontal plane, another in the vertical plane, and another when we are moving forward or backward The semicircular canals contain little hairs in a fluid bath When we move our head, the fluid stirs the hairs, which send a signal to our brains telling us that we have increased our velocity in a particular direction Each movement requires a corresponding adjustment of the rest of the body If we move our heads forward, our brains tell an appropriate segment of our bodies to adjust, unconsciously, so that we can offset that change in our center of gravity and maintain our balance The signals from the vestibular apparatus go along a nerve to a specialized clump of neurons in our brain, called the vestibular nuclei, which process them, then send commands to our muscles to adjust themselves A healthy vestibular apparatus also has a strong link to our visual system When you run after a bus, with your head bouncing up and down as you race forward, you are able to keep that moving bus at the center of your gaze because your vestibular apparatus sends messages to your brain, telling it the speed and direction in which you are running These signals allow your brain to rotate and adjust the position of your eyeballs to keep them directed at your target, the bus. I am with Cheryl, and Paul Bach y Rita, one of the great pioneers in understanding brain plasticity, and his team, in one of his labs Cheryl is hopeful about todays experiment and is stoical but open about her condition Yuri Danilov, the team biophysicist, does the calculations on the data they are gathering on Cheryls vestibular system He is Russian, extremely smart, and has a deep accent He says, Cheryl is patient who has lost vestibular systemninety five to one hundred percent. By any conventional standard, Cheryls case is a hopeless one The conventional view sees the brain as made up of a group of specialized processing modules, genetically hardwired to perform specific functions and those alone, each developed and refined over millions of years of evolution Once one of them is this damaged, it cant be replaced Now that her vestibular system is damaged, Cheryl has as much chance of regaining her balance as a person whose retina has been damaged has of seeing again. But today all that is about to be challenged. She is wearing a construction hat with holes in the side and a device inside it called an accelerometer Licking a thin plastic strip with small electrodes on it, she places it on her tongue The accelerometer in the hat sends signals to the strip, and both are attached to a nearby computer She laughs at the way she looks in the hat, because if I dont laugh I will cry. This machine is one of Bach y Ritas bizarre looking prototypes It will replace her vestibular apparatus and send balance signals to her brain from her tongue The hat may reverse Cheryls current nightmare In 1997 after a routine hysterectomy, Cheryl, then thirty nine years old, got a postoperative infection and was given the antibiotic gentamicin Excessive use of gentamicin is known to poison the inner ear structures and can be responsible for hearing loss which Cheryl doesnt have , ringing in the ears which she does , and devastation to the balance system But because gentamicin is cheap and effective, it is still prescribed, though usually for only a brief period of time Cheryl says she was given the drug way beyond the limit And so she became one of a small tribe of gentamicins casualties, known among themselves as Wobblers. Suddenly one day she discovered she couldnt stand without falling Shed turn her head, and the whole room would move She couldnt figure out if she or the walls were causing the movement Finally she got to her feet by hanging on to the wall and reached for the phone to call her doctor. When she arrived at the hospital, the doctors gave her various tests to see if her vestibular function was working They poured freezing cold and warm water into her ears and tilted her on a table When they asked her to stand with her eyes closed, she fell over A doctor told her, You have no vestibular function The tests showed she had about 2 percent of the function left. He was, she says, so nonchalant It looks like a side effect of the gentamicin Here Cheryl gets emotional Why in the world wasnt I told about that Its permanent, he said I was alone My mother had taken me to the doctor, but she went off to get the car and was waiting for me outside the hospital My mother asked, Is it going to be okay And I looked at her and said, Its permanentthis is never going to go away. Because the link between Cheryls vestibular apparatus and her visual system is damaged, her eyes cant follow a moving target smoothly Everything I see bounces like a bad amateur video, she says Its as though everything I look at seems made of Jell O, and with each step I take, everything wiggles. Although she cant track moving objects with her eyes, her vision is all she has to tell her that she is upright Our eyes help us know where we are in space by fixing on horizontal lines Once when the lights went out, Cheryl immediately fell to the floor But vision proves an unreliable crutch for her, because any kind of movement in front of hereven a person reaching out to herexacerbates the falling feeling Even zigzags on a carpet can topple her, by initiating a burst of false messages that make her think shes standing crookedly when shes not. She suffers mental fatigue, as well, from being on constant high alert It takes a lot of brain power to maintain an upright positionbrain power that is taken away from such mental functions as memory and the ability to calculate and reason. While Yuri is readying the computer for Cheryl, I ask to try the machine I put on the construction workers hat and slip into my mouth the plastic device with electrodes on it, called a tongue display It is flat, no thicker than a stick of chewing gum. The accelerometer, or sensor, in the hat detects movement in two planes As I nod my head, the movement is translated onto a map on the computer screen that permits the team to monitor it The same map is projected onto a small array of 144 electrodes implanted in the plastic strip on my tongue As I tilt forward, electric shocks that feel like champagne bubbles go off on the front of my tongue, telling me that I am bending forward On the computer screen I can see where my head is As I tilt back, I feel the champagne swirl in a gentle wave to the back of my tongue The same happens when I tilt to the sides Then I close my eyes and experiment with finding my way in space with my tongue I soon forget that the sensory information is coming from my tongue and can read where I am in space. Cheryl takes the hat back she keeps her balance by leaning against the table. Lets begin, says Yuri, adjusting the controls. Cheryl puts on the hat and closes her eyes She leans back from the table, keeping two fingers on it for contact She doesnt fall, though she has no indication whatsoever of what is up and down except the swirling of the champagne bubbles over her tongue She lifts her fingers from the table Shes not wobbling any She starts to crythe flood of tears that comes after a trauma she can open up now that she has the hat on and feels safe The first time she put on the hat, the sense of perpetual falling left herfor the first time in five years Her goal today is to stand, free, for twenty minutes, with the hat on, trying to keep centered For anyonenot to mention a Wobblerto stand straight for twenty minutes requires the training and skill of a guard at Buckingham Palace. She looks peaceful She makes minor corrections The jerking has stopped, and the mysterious demons that seemed to be inside her, pushing her, shoving her, have vanished Her brain is decoding signals from her artificial vestibular apparatus For her, these moments of peace are a miraclea neuroplastic miracle, because somehow these tingling sensations on her tongue, which normally make their way to the part of the brain called the sensory cortexthe thin layer on the surface of the brain that processes the sense of touchare making their way, through a novel pathway in the brain, to the brain area that processes balance. We are now working on getting this device small enough so that it is hidden in the mouth, says Bach y Rita, like an orthodontists mouth retainer Thats our goal Then she, and anyone with this problem, will have a normal life restored Someone like Cheryl should be able to wear the apparatus, talk, and eat without anyone knowing she has it. But this isnt just going to affect people damaged by gentamicin, he continues There was an article in The New York Times yesterday on falls in the elderly Old people are frightened of falling than of being mugged A third of the elderly fall, and because they fear falling, they stay home, dont use their limbs, and become physically frail But I think part of the problem is that the vestibular sensejust like hearing, taste, eyesight, and our other sensesstarts to weaken as we age This device will help them. Its time, says Yuri, turning off the machine. Now comes the second neuroplastic marvel Cheryl removes the tongue device and takes off the hat She gives a big grin, stands free with her eyes closed, and doesnt fall Then she opens her eyes and, still not touching the table, lifts one foot off the ground, so shes balancing on the other. I love this guy, she says, and goes over and gives Bach y Rita a hug She comes over to me Shes overflowing with emotion, overwhelmed by feeling the world under her feet again, and she gives me a hug too. I feel anchored and solid I dont have to think where my muscles are I can actually think of other things She returns to Yuri and gives him a kiss. I have to emphasize why this is a miracle, says Yuri, who considers himself a data driven skeptic She has almost no natural sensors For the past twenty minutes we provided her with an artificial sensor But the real miracle is what is happening now that we have removed the device, and she doesnt have either an artificial or a natural vestibular apparatus We are awakening some kind of force inside her. The first time they tried the hat, Cheryl wore it for only a minute They noticed that after she took it off, there was a residual effect that lasted about twenty seconds, a third of the time she wore the device Then Cheryl wore the hat for two minutes and the residual effect lasted about forty seconds Then they went up to about twenty minutes, expecting a residual effect of just under seven minutes But instead of lasting a third of the time, it lasted triple the time, a full hour Today, Bach y Rita says, they are experimenting to see if twenty minutes on the device will lead to some kind of training effect, so that the residual effect will last even longer. Cheryl starts clowning and showing off I can walk like a woman again Thats probably not important to most people, but it means a lot that I dont have to walk with my feet wide apart now. She gets up on a chair and jumps off She bends down to pick things up off the floor, to show she can right herself Last time I did this I was able to jump rope in the residual time. What is amazing, says Yuri, is that she doesnt just keep her posture After some time on the device, she behaves almost normally Balancing on a beam Driving a car It is the recovery of the vestibular function When she moves her head, she can keep her focus on her targetthe link between the visual and vestibular systems is also recovered. I look up, and Cheryl is dancing with Bach y Rita. She leads. How is it that Cheryl can dance and has returned to normal functioning without the machine Bach y Rita thinks there are several reasons For one, her damaged vestibular system is disorganized and noisy, sending off random signals Thus, noise from the damaged tissue blocks any signals sent by healthy tissue The machine helps to reinforce the signals from her healthy tissues He thinks the machine also helps recruit other pathways, which is where plasticity comes in A brain system is made of many neuronal pathways, or neurons that are connected to one another and working together If certain key pathways are blocked, then the brain uses older pathways to go around them I look at it this way, says Bach y Rita If you are driving from here to Milwaukee, and the main bridge goes out, first you are paralyzed Then you take old secondary roads through the farmland Then, as you use these roads , you find shorter paths to use to get where you want to go, and you start to get there faster These secondary neural pathways are unmasked, or exposed, and, with use, strengthened This unmasking is generally thought to be one of the main ways the plastic brain reorganizes itself. The fact that Cheryl is gradually lengthening the residual effect suggests that the unmasked pathway is getting stronger Bach y Rita hopes that Cheryl, with training, will be able to continue extending the length of the residual effect. A few days later an e mail for Bach y Rita arrives from Cheryl, her report from home about how long the residual time lasted Total residual time was 3 hours, 20 minutesThe wobbling begins in my headjust like usualI am having trouble finding wordsSwimming feeling in my head Tired, exhaustedDepressed. A painful Cinderella story Coming down from normalcy is very hard When it happens, she feels she has died, come to life, and then died again On the other hand, three hours and twenty minutes after only twenty minutes on the machine is residual time ten times greater than the time on the device She is the first Wobbler ever to have been treated, and even if the residual time never grows longer, she could now wear the device briefly four times a day and have a normal life But there is good reason to expect , since each session seems to be training her brain to extend the residual time If this keeps up It did keep up Over the next year Cheryl wore the device frequently to get relief and build up her residual effect Her residual effect progressed to multiple hours, to days, and then to four months Now she does not use the device at all and no longer considers herself a Wobbler. In 1969, Nature, Europes premier science journal, published a short article that had a distinctly sci fi feel about it Its lead author, Paul Bach y Rita, was both a basic scientist and a rehabilitation physiciana rare combination The article described a device that enabled people who had been blind from birth to see All had damaged retinas and had been considered completely untreatable. The Nature article was reported in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Life, but perhaps because the claim seemed so implausible, the device and its inventor soon slipped into relative obscurity. Accompanying the article was a picture of a bizarre looking machinea large old dentists chair with a vibrating back, a tangle of wires, and bulky computers The whole contraption, made of cast away parts combined with 1960s electronics, weighed four hundred pounds. A congenitally blind personsomeone who had never had any experience of sightsat in the chair, behind a large camera the size of those used in television studios at the time He scanned a scene in front of him by turning hand cranks to move the camera, which sent electrical signals of the image to a computer that processed them Then the electrical signals were conveyed to four hundred vibrating stimulators, arranged in rows on a metal plate attached to the inside of the chair back, so the stimulators rested against the blind subjects skin The stimulators functioned like pixels vibrating for the dark part of a scene and holding still for the brighter shades This tactile vision device, as it was called, enabled blind subjects to read, make out faces and shadows, and distinguish which objects were closer and which farther away It allowed them to discover perspective and observe how objects seem to change shape depending upon the angle from which they were viewed The six subjects of the experiment learned to recognize such objects as a telephone, even when it was partially obscured by a vase This being the 1960s, they even learned to recognize a picture of the anorexic supermodel Twiggy. Everyone who used the relatively clunky tactile vision device had a remarkable perceptual experience, as they went from having tactile sensations to seeing people and objects. With a little practice, the blind subjects began to experience the space in front of them as three dimensional, even though the information entered from the two dimensional array on their backs If someone threw a ball toward the camera, the subject would automatically jump back to duck it If the plate of vibrating stimulators was moved from their backs to their abdomens, subjects still accurately perceived the scene as happening in front of the camera If tickled near the stimulators, they didnt confuse the tickle with a visual stimulus Their mental perceptual experience took place not on the skin surface but in the world And their perceptions were complex With practice, subjects could move the camera around and say things like That is Betty she is wearing her hair down today and does not have her glasses on her mouth is open, and she is moving her right hand from her left side to the back of her head True, the resolution was often poor, but as Bach y Rita would explain, vision doesnt have to be perfect to be vision When we walk down a foggy street and see the outline of a building, he would ask, are we seeing it any less for the lack of resolution When we see something in black and white, are we not seeing it for lack of color This now forgotten machine was one of the first and boldest applications of neuroplasticityan attempt to use one sense to replace anotherand it worked Yet it was thought implausible and ignored because the scientific mind set at the time assumed that the brains structure is fixed, and that our senses, the avenues by which experience gets into our minds, are hardwired This idea, which still has many adherents, is called localizationism Its closely related to the idea that the brain is like a complex machine, made up of parts, each of which performs a specific mental function and exists in a genetically predetermined or hardwired locationhence the name A brain that is hardwired, and in which each mental function has a strict location, leaves little room for plasticity. The idea of the machinelike brain has inspired and guided neuroscience since it was first proposed in the seventeenth century, replacing mystical notions about the soul and the body Scientists, impressed by the discoveries of Galileo 15641642 , who showed that the planets could be understood as inanimate bodies moved by mechanical forces, came to believe that all nature functioned as a large cosmic clock, subject to the laws of physics, and they began to explain individual living things, including our bodily organs, mechanistically, as though they too were machines This idea that all nature was like a vast mechanism, and that our organs were machinelike, replaced the two thousand year old Greek idea that viewed all nature as a vast living organism, and our bodily organs as anything but inanimate mechanisms But the first great accomplishment of this new mechanistic biology was a brilliant and original achievement William Harvey 15781657 , who studied anatomy in Padua, Italy, where Galileo lectured, discovered how our blood circulates through our bodies and demonstrated that the heart functions like a pump, which is, of course, a simple machine It soon seemed to many scientists that for an explanation to be scientific it had to be mechanisticthat is, subject to the mechanical laws of motion Following Harvey, the French philosopher Ren Descartes 15961650 argued that the brain and nervous system also functioned like a pump Our nerves were really tubes, he argued, that went from our limbs to the brain and back He was the first person to theorize how reflexes work, proposing that when a person is touched on the skin, a fluidlike substance in the nerve tubes flows to the brain and is mechanically reflected back down the nerves to move the muscles As crude as it sounds, he wasnt so far off Scientists soon refined his primitive picture, arguing that not some fluid but an electric current moved through the nerves Descartess idea of the brain as a complex machine culminated in our current idea of the brain as a computer and in localizationism Like a machine, the brain came to be seen as made of parts, each one in a preassigned location, each performing a single function, so that if one of those parts was damaged, nothing could be done to replace it after all, machines dont grow new parts. Localizationism was applied to the senses as well, theorizing that each of our sensessight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, balancehas a receptor cell that specializes in detecting one of the various forms of energy around us When stimulated, these receptor cells send an electric signal along their nerve to a specific brain area that processes that sense Most scientists believed that these brain areas were so specialized that one area could never do the work of another. Almost in isolation from his colleagues, Paul Bach y Rita rejected these localizationist claims Our senses have an unexpectedly plastic nature, he discovered, and if one is damaged, another can sometimes take over for it, a process he calls sensory substitution He developed ways of triggering sensory substitution and devices that give us supersenses By discovering that the nervous system can adapt to seeing with cameras instead of retinas, Bach y Rita laid the groundwork for the greatest hope for the blind retinal implants, which can be surgically inserted into the eye. Unlike most scientists, who stick to one field, Bach y Rita has become an expert in manymedicine, psychopharmacology, ocular neurophysiology the study of eye muscles , visual neurophysiology the study of sight and the nervous system , and biomedical engineering He follows ideas wherever they take him He speaks five languages and has lived for extended periods in Italy, Germany, France, Mexico, Sweden, and throughout the United States He has worked in the labs of major scientists and Nobel Prize winners, but he has never much cared what others thought and doesnt play the political games that many researchers do in order to get ahead After becoming a physician, he gave up medicine and switched to basic research He asked questions that seemed to defy common sense, such as, Are eyes necessary for vision, or ears for hearing, tongues for tasting, noses for smelling And then, when he was forty four years old, his mind ever restless, he switched back to medicine and began a medical residency, with its endless days and sleepless nights, in one of the dreariest specialties of all rehabilitation medicine His ambition was to turn an intellectual backwater into a science by applying to it what he had learned about plasticity. Bach y Rita is a completely unassuming man He is partial to five dollar suits and wears Salvation Army clothes whenever his wife lets him get away with it He drives a rusty twelve year old car, his wife a new model Passat. He has a full head of thick, wavy gray hair, speaks softly and rapidly, has the darkish skin of a Mediterranean man of Spanish and Jewish ancestry, and appears a lot younger than his sixty nine years Hes obviously cerebral but radiates a boyish warmth toward his wife, Esther, a Mexican of Mayan descent. He is used to being an outsider He grew up in the Bronx, was four foot ten when he entered high school because of a mysterious disease that stunted his growth for eight years, and was twice given a preliminary diagnosis of leukemia He was beaten up by the larger students every day and during those years developed an extraordinarily high pain threshold When he was twelve, his appendix burst, and the mysterious disease, a rare form of chronic appendicitis, was properly diagnosed He grew eight inches and won his first fight. We are driving through Madison, Wisconsin, his home when hes not in Mexico He is devoid of pretension, and after many hours of our talking together, he lets only one even remotely self congratulatory remark leave his lips. I can connect anything to anything He smiles. We see with our brains, not with our eyes, he says. This claim runs counter to the commonsensical notion that we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, taste with our tongues, smell with our noses, and feel with our skin Who would challenge such facts But for Bach y Rita, our eyes merely sense changes in light energy it is our brains that perceive and hence see. How a sensation enters the brain is not important to Bach y Rita When a blind man uses a cane, he sweeps it back and forth, and has only one point, the tip, feeding him information through the skin receptors in the hand Yet this sweeping allows him to sort out where the doorjamb is, or the chair, or distinguish a foot when he hits it, because it will give a little Then he uses this information to guide himself to the chair to sit down Though his hand sensors are where he gets the information and where the cane interfaces with him, what he subjectively perceives is not the canes pressure on his hand but the layout of the room chairs, walls, feet, the three dimensional space The actual receptor surface in the hand becomes merely a relay for information, a data port The receptor surface loses its identity in the process. Bach y Rita determined that skin and its touch receptors could substitute for a retina, because both the skin and the retina are two dimensional sheets, covered with sensory receptors, that allow a picture to form on them. Its one thing to find a new data port, or way of getting sensations to the brain But its another for the brain to decode these skin sensations and turn them into pictures To do that, the brain has to learn something new, and the part of the brain devoted to processing touch has to adapt to the new signals This adaptability implies that the brain is plastic in the sense that it can reorganize its sensory perceptual system. If the brain can reorganize itself, simple localizationism cannot be a correct image of the brain At first even Bach y Rita was a localizationist, moved by its brilliant accomplishments Serious localizationism was first proposed in 1861, when Paul Broca, a surgeon, had a stroke patient who lost the ability to speak and could utter only one word No matter what he was asked, the poor man responded, Tan, tan When he died, Broca dissected his brain and found damaged tissue in the left frontal lobe Skeptics doubted that speech could be localized to a single part of the brain until Broca showed them the injured tissue, then reported on other patients who had lost the ability to speak and had damage in the same location That place came to be called Brocas area and was presumed to coordinate the movements of the muscles of the lips and tongue Soon afterward another physician, Carl Wernicke, connected damage in another brain area farther back to a different problem the inability to understand language Wernicke proposed that the damaged area was responsible for the mental representations of words and comprehension It came to be known as Wernickes area Over the next hundred years localizationism became specific as new research refined the brain map. Unfortunately, though, the case for localizationism was soon exaggerated It went from being a series of intriguing correlations observations that damage to specific brain areas led to the loss of specific mental functions to a general theory that declared that every brain function had only one hardwired locationan idea summarized by the phrase one function, one location, meaning that if a part was damaged, the brain could not reorganize itself or recover that lost function. A dark age for plasticity began, and any exceptions to the idea of one function, one location were ignored In 1868 Jules Cotard studied children who had early massive brain disease, in which the left hemisphere including Brocas area wasted away Yet these children could still speak normally This meant that even if speech tended to be processed in the left hemisphere, as Broca claimed, the brain might be plastic enough to reorganize itself, if necessary In 1876 Otto Soltmann removed the motor cortex from infant dogs and rabbitsthe part of the brain thought to be responsible for movementyet found they were still able to move These findings were submerged in the wave of localizationist enthusiasm. Bach y Rita came to doubt localizationism while in Germany in the early 1960s He had joined a team that was studying how vision worked by measuring with electrodes electrical discharge from the visual processing area of a cats brain The team fully expected that when they showed the cat an image, the electrode in its visual processing area would send off an electric spike, showing it was processing that image And it did But when the cats paw was accidentally stroked, the visual area also fired, indicating that it was processing touch as well And they found that the visual area was also active when the cat heard sounds. Bach y Rita began to think that the localizationist idea of one function, one location couldnt be right The visual part of the cats brain was processing at least two other functions, touch and sound He began to conceive of much of the brain as polysensorythat its sensory areas were able to process signals from than one sense. This can happen because all our sense receptors translate different kinds of energy from the external world, no matter what the source, into electrical patterns that are sent down our nerves These electrical patterns are the universal language spoken inside the brainthere are no visual images, sounds, smells, or feelings moving inside our neurons Bach y Rita realized that the areas that process these electrical impulses are far homogeneous than neuroscientists appreciated, a belief that was reinforced when the neuroscientist Vernon Mountcastle discovered that the visual, auditory, and sensory cortices all have a similar six layer processing structure To Bach y Rita, this meant that any part of the cortex should be able to process whatever electrical signals were sent to it, and that our brain modules were not so specialized after all. Over the next few years Bach y Rita began to study all the exceptions to localizationism With his knowledge of languages, he delved into the untranslated, older scientific literature and rediscovered scientific work done before the rigid versions of localizationism had taken hold He discovered the work of Marie Jean Pierre Flourens, who in the 1820s showed that the brain could reorganize itself And he read the oft quoted but seldom translated work of Broca in French and found that even Broca had not closed the door to plasticity as his followers had. The success of his tactile vision machine further inspired Bach y Rita to reinvent his picture of the human brain After all, it was not his machine that was the miracle, but the brain that was alive, changing, and adapting to new kinds of artificial signals As part of the reorganization, he guessed that signals from the sense of touch processed initially in the sensory cortex, near the top of the brain were rerouted to the visual cortex at the back of the brain for further processing, which meant that any neuronal paths that ran from the skin to the visual cortex were undergoing development. Forty years ago, just when localizations empire had extended to its farthest reaches, Bach y Rita began his protest He praised localizations accomplishments but argued that a large body of evidence indicates that the brain demonstrates both motor and sensory plasticity One of his papers was rejected for publication six times by journals, not because the evidence was disputed but because he dared to put the word plasticity in the title After his Nature article came out, his beloved mentor, Ragnar Granit, who had received the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1965 for his work on the retina, and who had arranged for the publication of Bach y Ritas medical school thesis, invited him over for tea Granit asked his wife to leave the room and, after praising Bach y Ritas work on the eye muscles, asked himfor his own goodwhy he was wasting his time with that adult toy Yet Bach y Rita persisted and began to lay out, in a series of books and several hundred articles, the evidence for brain plasticity and to develop a theory to explain how it might work. Bach y Ritas deepest interest became explaining plasticity, but he continued to invent sensory substitution devices He worked with engineers to shrink the dentist chaircomputer camera device for the blind The clumsy, heavy plate of vibrating stimulators that had been attached to the back has now been replaced by a paper thin strip of plastic covered with electrodes, the diameter of a silver dollar, that is slipped onto the tongue The tongue is what he calls the ideal brain machine interface, an excellent entry point to the brain because it has no insensitive layer of dead skin on it The computer too has shrunk radically, and the camera that was once the size of a suitcase now can be worn strapped to the frame of eyeglasses. He has been working on other sensory substitution inventions as well He received NASA funding to develop an electronic feeling glove for astronauts in space Existing space gloves were so thick that it was hard for the astronauts to feel small objects or perform delicate movements So on the outside of the glove he put electric sensors that relayed electrical signals to the hand Then he took what he learned making the glove and invented one to help people with leprosy, whose illness mutilates the skin and destroys peripheral nerves so that the lepers lose sensation in their hands This glove, like the astronauts glove, had sensors on the outside, and it sent its signals to a healthy part of the skinaway from the diseased handswhere the nerves were unaffected That healthy skin became the portal of entry for hand sensations He then began work on a glove that would allow blind people to read computer screens, and he even has a project for a condom that he hopes will allow spinal cord injury victims who have no feeling in their penises to have orgasms It is based on the premise that sexual excitement, like other sensory experiences, is in the brain, so the sensations of sexual movement, picked up by sensors on the condom, can be translated into electrical impulses that can then be transmitted to the part of the brain that processes sexual excitement Other potential uses of his work include giving people supersenses, such as infrared or night vision He has developed a device for the Navy SEALs that helps them sense how their bodies are oriented underwater, and another, successfully tested in France, that tells surgeons the exact position of a scalpel by sending signals from an electronic sensor attached to the scalpel to a small device attached to their tongues and to their brains. The origin of Bach y Ritas understanding of brain rehabilitation lies in the dramatic recovery of his own father, the Catalan poet and scholar Pedro Bach y Rita, after a disabling stroke In 1959 Pedro, then a sixty five year old widower, had a stroke that paralyzed his face and half of his body and left him unable to speak. George, Pauls brother, now a psychiatrist in California, was told that his father had no hope of recovery and would have to go into an institution Instead, George, then a medical student in Mexico, brought his paralyzed father from New York, where he lived, back to Mexico to live with him At first he tried to arrange rehabilitation for his father at the American British Hospital, which offered only a typical four week rehab, as nobody believed the brain could benefit from extended treatment After four weeks his father was nowhere near better He was still helpless and needed to be lifted onto and off the toilet and showered, which George did with the help of the gardener. Fortunately, he was a little man, a hundred and eighteen pounds, and we could manage him, says George. George knew nothing about rehabilitation, and his ignorance turned out to be a godsend, because he succeeded by breaking all its current rules, unencumbered by pessimistic theories. I decided that instead of teaching my father to walk, I was going to teach him first to crawl I said, You started off crawling, you are going to have to crawl again for a while.We got kneepads for him At first we held him on all fours, but his arms and legs didnt hold him very well, so it was a struggle As soon as Pedro could support himself somewhat, George then got him to crawl with his weak shoulder and arm supported by a wall That crawling beside the wall went on for months After that I even had him practicing in the garden, which led to problems with the neighbors, who were saying it wasnt nice, it was unseemly, to be making the professor crawl like a dog The only model I had was how babies learn So we played games on the floor, with me rolling marbles, and him having to catch them Or wed throw coins on the floor, and hed have to try and pick them up with his weak right hand Everything we tried involved turning normal life experiences into exercises We turned washing pots into an exercise Hed hold the pot with his good hand and make his weak handit had little control and made spastic jerking movementsgo round and round, fifteen minutes clockwise, fifteen minutes counterclockwise The circumference of the pot kept his hand contained There were steps, each one overlapping with the one before, and little by little he got better After a while he helped to design the steps He wanted to get to the point where he could sit down and eat with me and the other medical students The regime took many hours every day, but gradually Pedro went from crawling, to moving on his knees, to standing, to walking. Pedro struggled with his speech on his own, and after about three months there were signs it too was coming back After a number of months he wanted to resume his writing He would sit in front of the typewriter, his middle finger over the desired key, then drop his whole arm to strike it When he had mastered that, he would drop just the wrist, and finally the fingers, one at a time Eventually he learned to type normally again. At the end of a year his recovery was complete enough for Pedro, now sixty eight, to start full time teaching again at City College in New York He loved it and worked until he retired at seventy Then he got another teaching job at San Francisco State, remarried, and kept working, hiking, and traveling He was active for seven years after his stroke On a visit to friends in Bogot, Colombia, he went climbing high in the mountains At nine thousand feet he had a heart attack and died shortly thereafter He was seventy two. I asked George if he understood how unusual this recovery was so long after his fathers stroke and whether he thought at the time that the recovery might have been the result of brain plasticity. I just saw it in terms of taking care of Papa But Paul, in subsequent years, talked about it in terms of neuroplasticity Not right away, though It wasnt until after our father died. Pedros body was brought to San Francisco, where Paul was working It was 1965, and in those days, before brain scans, autopsies were routine because they were one way doctors could learn about brain diseases, and about why a patient died Paul asked Dr Mary Jane Aguilar to perform the autopsy. A few days later Mary Jane called me and said, Paul, come down Ive got something to show you When I got to the old Stanford Hospital, there, spread out on the table, were slices of my fathers brain on slides. He was speechless. I was feeling revulsion, but I could also see Mary Janes excitement, because what the slides showed was that my father had had a huge lesion from his stroke and that it had never healed, even though he recovered all those functions I freaked out I got numb I was thinking, Look at all this damage he has And she said, How can you recover with all this damage When he looked closely, Paul saw that his fathers seven year old lesion was mainly in the brain stemthe part of the brain closest to the spinal cordand that other major brain centers in the cortex that control movement had been destroyed by the stroke as well Ninety seven percent of the nerves that run from the cerebral cortex to the spine were destroyedcatastrophic damage that had caused his paralysis. I knew that meant that somehow his brain had totally reorganized itself with the work he did with George We didnt know how remarkable his recovery was until that moment, because we had no idea of the extent of his lesion, since there were no brain scans in those days When people did recover, we tended to assume that there really hadnt been much damage in the first place She wanted me to be a coauthor on the paper she wrote about his case I couldnt. His fathers story was firsthand evidence that a late recovery could occur even with a massive lesion in an elderly person But after examining that lesion and reviewing the literature, Paul found evidence that the brain can reorganize itself to recover functions after devastating strokes, discovering that in 1915 an American psychologist, Shepherd Ivory Franz, had shown that patients who had been paralyzed for twenty years were capable of making late recoveries with brain stimulating exercises. His fathers late recovery triggered a career change for Bach y Rita At forty four, he went back to practicing medicine and did residencies in neurology and rehabilitation medicine He understood that for patients to recover they needed to be motivated, as his father had been, with exercises that closely approximated real life activities. He turned his attention to treating strokes, focusing on late rehabilitation, helping people overcome major neurological problems years after theyd begun, and developing computer video games to train stroke patients to move their arms again And he began to integrate what he knew about plasticity into exercise design Traditional rehabilitation exercises typically ended after a few weeks, when a patient stopped improving, or plateaued, and doctors lost the motivation to continue But Bach y Rita, based on his knowledge of nerve growth, began to argue that these learning plateaus were temporarypart of a plasticity based learning cyclein which stages of learning are followed by periods of consolidation Though there was no apparent progress in the consolidation stage, biological changes were happening internally, as new skills became automatic and refined. Bach y Rita developed a program for people with damaged facial motor nerves, who could not move their facial muscles and so couldnt close their eyes, speak properly, or express emotion, making them look like monstrous automatons Bach y Rita had one of the extra nerves that normally goes to the tongue surgically attached to a patients facial muscles Then he developed a program of brain exercises to train the tongue nerve and particularly the part of the brain that controls it to act like a facial nerve These patients learned to express normal facial emotions, speak, and close their eyesone instance of Bach y Ritas ability to connect anything to anything. Thirty three years after Bach y Ritas Nature article, scientists using the small modern version of his tactile vision machine have put patients under brain scans and confirmed that the tactile images that enter patients through their tongues are indeed processed in their brains visual cortex. All reasonable doubt that the senses can be rewired was recently put to rest in one of the most amazing plasticity experiments of our time It involved rewiring not touch and vision pathways, as Bach y Rita had done, but those for hearing and visionliterally Mriganka Sur, a neuroscientist, surgically rewired the brain of a very young ferret Normally the optic nerves run from the eyes to the visual cortex, but Sur surgically redirected the optic nerves from the ferrets visual to its auditory hearing cortex and discovered that the ferret learned to see Using electrodes inserted into the ferrets brain, Sur proved that when the ferret was seeing, the neurons in its auditory cortex were firing and doing the visual processing The auditory cortex, as plastic as Bach y Rita had always imagined, had reorganized itself, so that it had the structure of the visual cortex Though the ferrets that had this surgery did not have 20 20 vision, they had about a third of that, or 20 60no worse than some people who wear eyeglasses. Till recently, such transformations would have seemed utterly inexplicable But Bach y Rita, by showing that our brains are flexible than localizationism admits, has helped to invent a accurate view of the brain that allows for such changes Before he did this work, it was acceptable to say, as most neuroscientists do, that we have a visual cortex in our occipital lobe that processes vision, and an auditory cortex in our temporal lobe that processes hearing From Bach y Rita we have learned that the matter is complicated and that these areas of the brain are plastic processors, connected to each other and capable of processing an unexpected variety of input. Cheryl has not been the only one to benefit from Bach y Ritas strange hat The team has since used the device to train fifty patients to improve their balance and walking Some had the same damage Cheryl had others have had brain trauma, stroke, or Parkinsons disease. Paul Bach y Ritas importance lies in his being the first of his generation of neuroscientists both to understand that the brain is plastic and to apply this knowledge in a practical way to ease human suffering Implicit in all his work is the idea that we are all born with a far adaptable, all purpose, opportunistic brain than we have understood. When Cheryls brain developed a renewed vestibular senseor blind subjects brains developed new paths as they learned to recognize objects, perspective, or movementthese changes were not the mysterious exception to the rule but the rule the sensory cortex is plastic and adaptable When Cheryls brain learned to respond to the artificial receptor that replaced her damaged one, it was not doing anything out of the ordinary Recently Bach y Ritas work has inspired cognitive scientist Andy Clark to wittily argue that we are natural born cyborgs, meaning that brain plasticity allows us to attach ourselves to machines, such as computers and electronic tools, quite naturally But our brains also restructure themselves in response to input from the simplest tools too, such as a blind mans cane Plasticity has been, after all, a property inherent in the brain since prehistoric times The brain is a far open system than we ever imagined, and nature has gone very far to help us perceive and take in the world around us It has given us a brain that survives in a changing world by changing itself. 2 Building Herself a Better Brain A Woman Labeled Retarded DiscoversHow to Heal Herself The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility Mind bending, miracle making, reality busting stuffwith implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history The New York TimesBrilliantDoidge has identified a tidal shift in basic scienceThe implications are monumental The London TimesFascinating Doidges book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain Oliver Sacks, MDTwo years ago, when the journal Cerebrum at the Dana Foundation in the US updated its list of great books about the brain for the general reader, it found there were already 30,000 brain related books in English Aided by scientific advisers and readers, it produced a new list with The Brain That Changes Itself at No 1 The Melbourne AgeLucid and absolutely fascinating It satisfies in equal measure the mind and heart The Chicago TribuneDoidge turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down Publishers WeeklyBrilliantThis book is a wonderful and engaging way or re imagining what kind of creatures we are Jeanette Winterson, novelist, Order of the British Empire, Guardian, Best Book of 2008Superb Brilliant I devoured it V.S Ramachandran, MD, PHD, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, Univeristy of California, San Diego, Author of Phantoms of the BrainDoidge is a master at explaining science to the rest of us Doidge is the best possible guide You dont have to be a brain surgeon to read it, just curious about your brain Buy this book Your brain will thank you The Globe and MailReaders will want to read entire sections aloud and pass the book on to someone who can benefit from it Doidge links scientific experimentation with personal triumph in a way that inspires awe Washington PostDoidge tells one spell binding story after another as he travels the globe interviewing the scientists and their subjects who are on the cutting edge of a new age It may be hard to imagine that a book so rich in science can also be a page turner, but this one is hard to set down Jeff Zimman, Posit Science, e newsletterThe most readable and best general treatment of this subject to date Michael M Merzenich, Ph.D., Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences University of California at San FranciscoA riveting, essential book These stories are most emotionally satisfying Doidge addresses how cultural influences literally shape our brain And.our response to the world around us is not only a social or psychological phenomenon, but often a lasting neurological process Montreal Gazette, Liam Durcan, MD, Neurologist A hymn to life Panorama ItalyThe Brain That Changes Itselfis without question the most important book of the year, and maybe the most important book we have ever read Kiril Sokoloff, 13D Research IncThis books is like discovering that the earth isnt flat Gretel Killeen, Sun Herald, The Books That Changed MeA rich banquet of brain mind plasticity, communicated in a brilliantly clear writing style Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D., Head, Affective Neuroscience Research, Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Northwestern University A masterfully guided tour through the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity research Discover MagazineNorman Doidge has shown that what and how we think can change our brains He has illuminated the foundations of psychological healing Charles Hanly, Ph.D.President, International Psychoanalytical AssociationAstonishing This book will inevitably draw comparisons to the work of Oliver Sacks Doidge has a prodigious gift for rendering the highly technical highly readable It s hard to imagine a exciting topic or a better introduction to it Kitchener Waterloo RecordPerfect for fans of Oliver Sacks Quill Beautifully written and brings life and clarity to a variety of neuropsychiatric problems that affect children and adults It reads a bit like a science detective story and you do not need a Ph.D to benefit from the wisdom imparted here Barbara Milrod, M.D Psychiatry, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New YorkA panoramic examination of plasticity s profound implications Toronto Daily StarAn eloquently written book about the boundless potential of the human brain The Jewish WeekNorman Doidge has written a fascinating, highly readable account of the new brain science John Cornwell, Literary Review, EnglandYou really should read this book this remarkable work will lead us to see ourselves in a new light Mail on Sunday, EnglandAn essential primer for anyone who wants to better understand their own brains and the considerable advances in neuroscience of the past two decades Melbourne AgeA book that everybody should read it is nothing short of miraculous Get it Yoko Ono, Yoko Reads Book RecommendationsFascinating Doidge has accomplished a rare feat He has written a book that accurately conveys cutting edge scientific discoveries while simultaneously engaging both scientific and popular audiences Neuro PsychoanalysisA remarkable book a highly readable exploration of a branch of science that has the potential to change all our lives Hobart MercuryWhy isn t this book on the top of the bestseller list of all time The recognition that the brain in plastic and can actually change itself with exercise and understanding is a huge leap in the history or mankind, far greater than landing on the moon Jane S Hall, International PsychoanalysisOnly a few decades ago, scientists considered the brain to be fixed or hardwired and considered most forms of brain damage, therefore, to be incurable Dr Doidge, an eminent psychiatrist and researcher, was struck by how his patients own transformations belied this and set out to explore the new science of neuroplasticity by interviewing both scientific pioneers in neuroscience, and patients who have benefited from neurorehabilitation Here he describes in fascinating personal narratives how the brain, far from being fixed, has remarkable powers of changing its own structure and compensating for even the most challenging neurological conditions Doidges book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain Oliver Sack, MD, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat The Brain That Changes Itself Stories of Personal Triumph The from the Frontiers Science Norman Doidge on FREE shipping qualifying offers An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing centuries old notion that human brain immutable Brain Human Anatomy Picture, Function, Parts Stroke infarction Blood flow and oxygen are suddenly interrupted to an area tissue, which then dies A blood clot, or bleeding in brain, cause most strokes Anatomy, Brain Overview amazing three pound organ controls all functions body, interprets information outside world, embodies essence 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Health In humans, this contains medulla, midbrain pons commonly referred simplest part creatures evolutionary scale have some form creation resembles stem consists midbrain, medulla TheBrain Ultimate Digital Memory TheBrain trusted repository kinds people knowledge From business leaders visionary artists scientific data marketing plans When you start Brain, join community share passion getting done Neuroscience Psychology Today Neuroscience place where psychology meets biology further understanding physical, psychological, neurological health conditions, such role how perceive Your Nervous System KidsHealth Another small but mighty sits beneath cerebrum front cerebellum It connects rest Parts Ask Biologist Cells types cells neurons glial glia Greek word glue For long time biologists were controlled bodies also memories kept Addiction How Drugs Affect Neurofeedback training process helps learn better During process, administrator therapy monitors applying sensors scalp rewards changing 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benefit man teaching us change minds You don believe suspend disbelief just Photograph Felix Clay first seven ago, described choosemuse Psychiatry, served Head Psychotherapy Centre Assessment Clinic Clarke TOP QUOTES BY NORMAN DOIDGE Z Quotes Discover famous rare quotes Share quotations concentration, risk reading far About Byron Clinic workshop, will extraordinary advances made last applications neuroplasticity, reversals dementia The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

 

    • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
    • 2.1
    • 97
    • Format Kindle
    • 448 pages
    • 0143113100
    • Norman Doidge
    • Anglais
    • 26 September 2016

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