Norman Doidge On The Brain That Changes Itself
aired on 18 Sep 2009, 10:00
The cliche that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks may soon be obsolete. The more we learn about the human brain, the more we understand the potential that it has to change, adapt and grow. Traditionally the brain was seen as being like a machine, its neural pathways set in stone from childhood. But new studies have shown that the brain can be trained to recover from strokes or paralysis, lifelong habits can be broken, and aging brains be rejuvenated. Through new experiences and brain exercises we can alter our brain’s anatomy to improve cognition, perception, memory and intelligence. In this enlightening session at the Sydney Writers Festival, Norman Doidge talks about the remarkable plasticity of the brain, and shares some examples of how we can open it up to new realms of possibilities.
Norman Doidge is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He is on the research faculty at Columbia University’s Centre for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and his recent book, “The Brain That Changes Itself” has become an international bestseller. He is also an award winning poet.
Caroline Baum is a journalist and broadcaster. She was features editor for Vogue Magazine, founding editor of Good Reading and presenter of ABC’s “Between the Lines”.