"The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff...with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history."


"Fascinating. Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain."


"Brilliant...Doidge has identified a tidal shift in basic science...The implications are monumental."


"Superb. Brilliant. I devoured it."


"Doidge... is a master ... at explaining science to the rest of us. Doidge is the best possible guide. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to read it, just curious about your brain. Buy this book. Your brain will thank you."


"Lucid and absolutely fascinating. It satisfies in equal measure the mind and heart."


"Doidge turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down."


“Doidge leads the field in an extraordinary era for popular-science books about the brain…. This has to be explained in layperson’s terms, no easy task, but there’s a host of neurologists, psychologists, cognitive scientists and journalists explaining and interpreting the latest research….Two 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 (and the total would no doubt be higher now). Aided by scientific advisers and readers, it produced a new list – with The Brain That Changes Itself at No. 1.”

– The Melbourne Age, March 31, 2012

“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 fromneurorehabilitation. 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. Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.” 

— Oliver Sacks, M.D. Author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat.

“Brilliant…Doidge has identified a tidal shift in basic science and a potential one in medicine. The implications are monumental.”

— London Times

“Superb. Brilliant. I devoured it.”

— V.S. Ramachandran, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego Author of Phantoms in The Brain

“One of the best books of 2008.”

—The Guardian

“In 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 Doidge’s 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-making, reality-busting stuff…a kind of word-made flesh outcome far more characteristic of Lourdes than the National Institutes of Health… with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history.”

— The New York Times, Science Times

“Lucid 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 writes—people born with parts of their brains missing, people with learning disabilities, people recovering from strokes—with grace and vividness. In the best medical narratives—and the works of Doidge… join that fraternity—the narrow bridge between body and soul is traversed with courage and eloquence.”

— Chicago Tribune

“Doidge 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. 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-newsletter

“Doidge… slowly turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down.”

— Publisher’s Weekly

“A 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

”This book is like discovering that the earth isn’t flat.”

—Gretel Killeen, Sun Herald, “The Books That Changed Me”

The Brain That Changes Itself…is without question the most important book of the year, and maybe the most important book we have ever read.”

— Kiril Sokoloff, 13D Research Inc.

“Brilliant…This book is a wonderful and engaging way or re-imagining what kind of creatures we are.”

—Jeanette Winterson, novelist, OBE, Order of the  British Empire, Guardian, Best Book of 2008

“In the intrepid tradition of Oliver Sacks, Norman Doidge embarks on a fantastic voyage through the labyrinth of the human brain.”

—Simon Hughes, AFR, Australia Financial Review Magazine

“A masterfully guided tour through the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity research.”

— Discover Magazine

“A 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. [And] 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.”

— Montreal Gazette, Liam Durcan, M.D.,  Neurologist & Novelist 

“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 Today

“With example after fascinating example, Dr. Norman Doidge shows how patients have overcome deficits caused by trauma, strokes, prenatal problems, and disease. The stories are as instructive as they are inspiring.”

— Barnes & Noble: From Our Editors

“It 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 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. 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 afflictions — strokes, cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, learning disabilities, obsessive compulsive disorders and the like — are 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.”

— Jessica Warner, Ph.D., Globe and Mail

“Readers 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.”

— Washington Post

“A hymn to life.”

— Panorama Italy

“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 Francisco

“Perfect for fans of Oliver Sacks”

—Quill & Quire

“Norman Doidge’s 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 reader-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 York

“A panoramic examination of plasticity’s 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 body’s 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 20 to 30 years.”

— Toronto Daily Star

“An 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 Week

“Why isn’t this book on the top of the bestseller list of all time? In my mind 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. Clear, fascinating, and gripping. Dr. Doidge gives new hope to everyone from the youngest to the oldest among us.”

— Jane S. Hall, International Psychoanalysis

“For 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 brain’s 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 Week

“Astonishing. 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 more exciting topic–or a better introduction to it.”

— Kitchener Waterloo Record

“Norman Doidge has written a fascinating, highly readable account of the new brain science.”

 —John Cornwell, Literary Review, England

“You really should read this book… this remarkable work will lead us to see ourselves in a new light.”

—Mail on Sunday, England

“We’ve 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, International Psychoanalytical Association

“An owner’s manual for the brain, giving advice on how to maintain intellect and reasoning functions as we grow older, Doidge.s 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 Book

“An ‘essential primer’ for anyone who wants to better understand their own brains and the considerable advances in neuroscience of the past two decades.”

—Gordon Farrer, Melbourne Age

“A fascinating glimpse into a new field … The Brain That Changes Itself could signal an important medical shift we’re in the midst of right now.

—Drew Turney, Sun Herald

“Anyone who has read Norman Doidge’s brilliant The Brain That Changes Itself, in which the author makes a convincing case for our brains being far more “plastic” and malleable than previously supposed, will suspect that our predispositions can be changed through experience”

—Andrew Smith, The Sunday Times, UK

“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

The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge provides a fascinating overview of the emerging science of neuroplasticity—the study of the capacity of the brain to alter and reorganize itself under the influence of learning and experience. Through a rich tapestry of narratives about patients with some of the most intractable neurological and psychological disorders, and scientists with their inspiring, sometimes paradoxical cures, 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.This book is in the same league as other popular and influential neuroscience books such as Antonio Damasio’s Descartes’ Error, Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Joseph LeDoux’s The Emotional Brain.”

—Douglas Watt and Eric A. Fertuck, in Neuro-Psychoanalysis 

“A remarkable book … a highly readable exploration of a branch of science that has the potential to change all our lives.”

—Hobart Mercury

“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

“This is a fascinating book which alters the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.”

—Suzy Wilson, South East Advertiser

“A book that everybody should read… it is nothing short of miraculous. Get it!”

—Yoko Ono, Yoko Reads Book Recommendations

The Brain That Changes Itself  by Norman Doidge shows us that at last neuroscience has caught up with what mystics and meditation have taught for centuries — the brain is infinitely changeable. Forget mechanics: the brain is not a machine, nor is it a computer made of meat. This book is a wonderful and engaging way of re-imagining what kind of creatures we are.”

—Jeanette Winterson, The Guardian, Best Books of 2008