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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: NEUROPLASTICITY
vertical line Posted on May.30.2007 @ 09:58AM EDT by stephen

Review: "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge, M.D.

 

May 29, 2007

The Brain: Malleable, Capable, Vulnerable By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D.

 

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.

 

The credo of this revolution is neuroplasticity - the discovery that the human brain is as malleable as a lump of wet clay not only in infancy, as scientists have long known, but well into hoary old age.

 

Research into the malleability of the normal brain has been no less amazing. Subjects who learn to play a sequence of notes on the piano develop characteristic changes in the brain’s electric activity; when other subjects sit in front of a piano and just think about playing the same notes, the same changes occur. It is the virtual made real, a solid quantification of the power of thought.

 

From this still relatively primitive experimental data, theories can be constructed for the entirety of human experience: creativity and love, addiction and obsession, anger and grief - all, presumably, are the products of distinct electrical associations that may be manipulated by the brain itself, and by the brains of others, for better or worse.

 

For neuroplasticity may prove a curse as well. The brain can think itself into ruts, with electrical habits as difficult to eradicate as if it were, in fact, the immutable machine of yore. Sometimes “roadblocks” can be created to help steer its activity back in the desired direction (like bandaging the stroke patient’s good arm). Sometimes rewiring the circuits requires hard cerebral work instead; Dr. Doidge cites the successful Freudian analysis of one of his patients.

 

And, of course, the implications for external re-engineering of the human brain are ominous, for if the brain is malleable it is also endlessly vulnerable, not only to its own mistakes but also to the ambitions and excesses of others, whether they are misguided parents, well-meaning cultural trendsetters or despotic national leaders.

 

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company


Go to Latest Reply   Reply to this Topic   Email stephen
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.30.2007
12:23PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line this is very interesting as I have been recently told that the artery problems through out my body are also in my brain and I've been considering the wonderful changes as a "rewiring" of sorts... but some sensations do require doctor and others do not and this is difficult to assess at times.. actually none maybe do...as the other night in half sleep I got angina and I recall speaking to someone like they were with my being and saying  something like, "oh...don't worry...that is what this body does some times.. don't be concerned with it"... and went off into the night again.....
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.30.2007
12:29PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line was that you?
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Reply from stephen
May.30.2007
12:47PM EDT 
Email stephen
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The reason I posted this was to demonstrate again that reality is in the eye of the beholder. We live in a world of a physical reality but what it is and how we view it is up to the individual. Newton was said to view gravity in terms of an apple falling from a tree. We can see this falling apple as a danger to our safety or as bread from heaven. The truth of the apple falling is one of mind set. Buddha said that the apple falling seems be correct but to judge its meaning is delusional. When we insist on judging for a meaning we will suffer. MU

 

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Reply from HarryB
May.30.2007
12:53PM EDT 
vertical line Maybe Buddha said too much.

Regards,

Harry.
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Reply from HarryB
May.30.2007
12:55PM EDT 
vertical line Just as well he had a golden face, and a big old golden brain... right?

regards,

H.
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Reply from Woodsman
May.30.2007
01:26PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line I can't believe I'm reading this. I guess that makes me a nonbeliever.

Wait a minute... I believe I am a believer!

How's that? Feeling better?

Healed!!!

I am.
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Reply from HarryB
May.30.2007
02:00PM EDT 
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Sometimes I forget to believe that I have an ass, and when I sit down I disappear up my own MU... terribly embarrasing, socially, you know.

Buddha believed in all sorts of things of course, he hid these secrets in pots in the desert... Discovery Channel will stumble across them when the Dead Sea dries up. Then there's Sci-Fi Buddha, as annointed by Alby Einstein, he was clever. He'll get us lots of converts in silicone valley. Stephen Hawkins still doesn't dig him thought, we just need another spin on it... hmmmmmmmmmm, I mean ommmmmmmmmm...

Regards,

Harry.

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Reply from Woodsman
May.30.2007
02:51PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line temporarily out of belief, in thoughts that'll save my, unlass... no, I can't do the duality, just woke up, and I'm here.
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                                                                                                                         .          windy
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Reply from HarryB
May.30.2007
05:13PM EDT 
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Ok, I just tried it, the brain is indeed malleable. I'll be lying down for a while now.

Regards,

Harvcvfbnmk.fxb.>>@

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Reply from Lionel
May.30.2007
08:21PM EDT 
Email Lionel
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Hello Steve, this is in fact an interesting topic. As I am poor in Science, what is Modern Science saying about brain & mind actually? May be you can help a little bit in this area with your plain language. Thank you, SIR!

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Reply from Lionel
May.30.2007
08:29PM EDT 
Email Lionel
vertical line To me, brain is just like a basic tool or device for mind's activities & or evolution.  
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Reply from HarryB
May.30.2007
08:37PM EDT 
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I'm happy to leave the science to Steve, but this seems to be saying what people have been intuiting and observing from before the time of Buddha: matter and conciousness are not seperate, they are interdependant and they effect each other directly.

It is probably of great signifigance to some of your hard materialist scientist types, and probably offensive and contentious to some more of that ilk.

Send them all incense and hard liquor for Christmas I say.

Regards,

Harry.

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Reply from Woodsman
May.30.2007
09:43PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line It's not what's in your head that wakes you up.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71498
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Reply from kelvintan
May.30.2007
10:32PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Quote: "To me, brain is just like a basic tool or device for mind's activities & or evolution.  "
.........

This phenomenal world is full of entities

Empty to the awakened and enlightened

As it is devoid of any real substances

Creation is  merely  in our state of Mind

Human needs change their Egocentric

             N A T U R E

              With Metta

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Reply from Woodsman
May.31.2007
10:56AM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Quiet, is unnatural. Isn't it?
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Reply from HarryB
May.31.2007
10:59AM EDT 
vertical line It suits you though.

Regards,

H.
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Reply from Woodsman
May.31.2007
11:56AM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line And it points in a certain direction. Doesn't it? That we can't explain, or even talk about.
Words hang heavy on the sound of it.
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.31.2007
12:15PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Quote: "

The reason I posted this was to demonstrate again that reality is in the eye of the beholder. We live in a world of a physical reality but what it is and how we view it is up to the individual. Newton was said to view gravity in terms of an apple falling from a tree. We can see this falling apple as a danger to our safety or as bread from heaven. The truth of the apple falling is one of mind set. Buddha said that the apple falling seems be correct but to judge its meaning is delusional. When we insist on judging for a meaning we will suffer. MU

"
.........

"
.........

oh, last night in a half asleep..I hear myself like a child say, "yes, extinction"....

Who speaks in dreams that are not dreams..who guides? this preciuos child...

for in morning I learn ..my very good friend has passed away

does anyone know what this means

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Reply from stephen
May.31.2007
12:26PM EDT 
Email stephen
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does anyone know what this means?

I believe the answer to be NO. Having said that never be surprised or frighten what happens. Accept and believe. No need explain. Many things are unexplainable. MU

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Reply from HarryB
May.31.2007
12:26PM EDT 
vertical line Must it mean something?

I'm sorry to hear of your friend, assuming this isn't poetry.

Regards,

harry.
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.31.2007
12:41PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "Must it mean something?

I'm sorry to hear of your friend, assuming this isn't poetry.

Regards,

harry.
"
.........

he wrote a poem every night, but not the last

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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
01:08PM EDT 
vertical line There's ingratitude for you and so much for confuscfusion, er yes, no, swell-zen anyone?
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Reply from HarryB
May.31.2007
01:19PM EDT 
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C'mon, Who wound up the toy mouse?

Regards,

H.

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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
01:42PM EDT 
vertical line poop-hatch
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Reply from HarryB
May.31.2007
01:45PM EDT 
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"Jesus is the personality, the body, in which Christ Consciousness was born. Christ Consciousness can't be restricted by the body of one human being - thus the Christed being is always, and continually, 'born again', directly from spirit and out of matter"

And out it comes...Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

And here's me starting to feel bad about being some sort of Buddhist. Now, beam me up Godboy.

God is love, the love between a man and a good steaming heap of dogma. No disrespect, mind you.

Regards,

Harry.

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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
01:48PM EDT 
vertical line Oh look, it logs one off too.
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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
01:51PM EDT 
vertical line And it cuts & pasties, now we know who it cares.
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Reply from HarryB
May.31.2007
01:55PM EDT 
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Where do you get your material, Holy One Cannotbe?

The Zen playground is quite open and up for business like yours. Go to the Mormons or something if you're looking for submission.  ;-) 

Regards,

H.

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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
01:57PM EDT 
vertical line Go here, there, do this, do that, come back when you blah blah blah - any more orders for any more orders?
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Reply from HarryB
May.31.2007
01:58PM EDT 
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Yeah, smarten up, you're getting boring and predictable.

Regards,

H.

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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
01:59PM EDT 
vertical line crap
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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
02:03PM EDT 
vertical line HD to Alpha...HD to Alpha... Smart Update...HD to Alpha....er crapper
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71526
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Reply from Woodsman
May.31.2007
02:04PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line damn it! or just smokie...
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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
02:10PM EDT 
vertical line Alpha Alpha...Come in, Alpha.../over
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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
02:20PM EDT 
vertical line Coming to a bookstore near you...'Observing Radio Silence: Channel Up The Dial' pass it on and wash your hands.
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Reply from Woodsman
May.31.2007
03:20PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Pine pollen, buy it today!
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Reply from ______
May.31.2007
03:50PM EDT 
vertical line Nose-jobbie
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Reply from ______
Jun.01.2007
08:55AM EDT 
vertical line Anybody seen Doktor Demon Straiter? He's probably in the lab, re-working on a new neo-theory. Alas alack.
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Reply from ______
Jun.01.2007
09:21AM EDT 
vertical line Oh my darlink, Nirvana, you, you, oh yes, you with the lying aisles.
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Reply from Lynnoh
Jun.01.2007
12:41PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line the sound of star wars coming from the garage
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Reply from ______
Jun.04.2007
06:20AM EDT 
vertical line Oh lynnoh, you with the stars in your eyes.
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