The Brain That Changes Itself: was written by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D. The Brain That Changes Itself features studies of several patients suffering from neurological disorders and details how the brain adapts to compensate for their disabilities. Interviews with the patients and doctors account for a large portion of the contents.
Doidge uses examples of previous work carried out by neuroscientists such as Paul Broca and Paul Bach-y-Rita to show that the brain is adaptive, and thus plastic. Through the case studies, Doidge demonstrates both the beneficial and detrimental effects that neuroplasticity can have on a patient, saying, “Neuroplasticity contributes to both the constrained and unconstrained aspects of our nature,” however “it renders our brains not only more resourceful, but also more vulnerable to outside influences.”
The Brain that Changes Itself is also an interesting CBC documentary, based on the best-selling book by Toronto psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Norman Doidge. Some of the cases that we get to know while watching CBC videos below are:
– Roger Behm, a blind man who is now able to see via his tongue (and can throw a basketball into a garbage can to prove it).
– Cheryl Schiltz, who was written-off by doctors when she lost her sense of balance due to a drug’s side effect. Once sentenced to a lifetime of wobbling, her brain rewired itself through a seemingly simple therapy, and has now regained her balance and returned to a normal life.
– Michelle Mack, one of the greatest examples of the brain’s ability to adapt: she was born, literally, with just half of her brain.
– Michael Bernstein, who suffered a debilitating stroke in the prime of his life, paralyzing the left side of his body. He’s now back to his former life, as his brain functions have been rerouted and re-invigorated.
The Brain That Changes Itself – CBC Documentary Part 1
The Brain That Changes Itself – CBC Documentary Part 2
The Brain That Changes Itself – CBC Documentary Part 3
The Brain That Changes Itself – CBC Documentary Part 4