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What did you like best about The Brain that Changes Itself? What did you like least?
I liked that the book did give examples of real world evidence of plasticity and of the changing of the scientific mindset
Has The Brain that Changes Itself put you off other books in this genre?
No, although I will likely not put myself through listening to the whole thing if I'm not enjoying it again
What about Jim Bond’s performance did you like?
Well read, nice voice and good pace
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
This book focuses so, so much on the "problem". You hear about what was wrong with someone in graphic, lengthy detail. Some of it is really not pleasant and, to my mind, not relevant. There is a fair amount of academic excess - 10 pages to say what could be said in 1 page, but that wouldn't be such a problem if the author just got on with tellings us about the topic (brains adapting) and less about people putting a nail through their genitals... In print, you could easily skip past that stuff, much less able to do that if you're listening to it while driving.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful
I really wanted to like this book, and at first I did. Quite soon however, I started questioning it at a very fundamental level, to the point where I eventually felt that I couldn't really trust the conclusions. I felt it was sold to me as a means for a layman to understand a complicated area of science, but when looking closer I felt it really lacked a proper scientific approach. Every conclusion in the book was presented using such supreme certainty, in a field where virtually everything is up for debate. I just couldn't believe that the author could know all of that without even a shadow of a doubt.
Some serious warning lights finally started flashing when the author started bringing up Freud left right and center. I mean, perhaps the guy had some good points. But the author discussed Freud as if virtually everything he stood for had been vindicated by the theory of plasticity. Furthermore, like Freud, he kept using his narrow studies and anecdotes to justify a series of extremely moralising conclusions on society.
I didn't hate this book and it certainly inspired me to read more on the subject. However, I cannot recommend it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This is a great 'read' if you are interested in the way the brain works and particularly how the brain manages to repair itself or work around obstacles to keep the body functioning. Its also professionally narrated. It talks about perceptions, how the brain deals with pain (it "allows" pain signals for example) and what it does if the body loses an eye or a limb by remapping parts of the brain to compensate, or how, in some cases, it fails such as phantom limb syndrome. I found it fascinating and insightful and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has a keen interest in science and research or human perception.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Loved it and reminded of our need to be honest with ourselves about our level of knowledge.