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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. Her latest book is Hiding in Plain Sight: Exploring Scotland's ill health. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 17/08/2009 | 1 Comment

At the Centre we're delighted that Dr Norman Doidge, author of the international best-seller, The Brain that Changes Itself, is coming to Scotland and giving a multi-media presentation for us on the evening of 15th September.

Doidge’s book has had fantastic publicity and favourable reviews. We first learned about him from Professor Carol Dweck. Her work on how intelligence and skills are not fixed at birth but develop as a result of learning, good strategies and hard work, very much echo Norman Doidge’s work showing the plasticity of the brain.

One of the most important messages for me is on ageing. He says that many people say that they continue to learn into retirement but that often this is not the case. From childhood right through to early adulthood human beings are involved in such deep learning that their brains makes new pathways and are literally sculpted and altered by the learning. However, as most people age they don’t  keep learning  in these deep ways: rather they simply  keep using existing skills or adding to what is already there. This means that the brain needlessly atrophies rather than continuing to grow and develop.

Doidge’s recommendation is that we learn new skills and knowledge on retirement. The best way to do this, he argues, is to learn a language. Although this might seem harder for us than when we were young we still reap real benefits in terms of brain growth and plasticity. 

Doidge’s work is relevant to learning and our attitude to it. But it is much broader than this. He cites numerous stories about how people have managed to overcome brain and other injuries previously thought irreversible.

One of the themes which has received a fair amount of space in reviews is his argument that

The neuroplastic revolution has implications for, among other things, our understanding of how love, sex, grief, relationships, learning, addictions, culture, technology, and psychotherapies change our brains. All of the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, insofar as they deal with human nature, are affected, as are all forms of training.

In other words, the neuroplastic revolution could change how we see ourselves as human beings.

Should be an interesting talk.

Further info on the event and to book tickets.

Comment By Comment
Joined: 27/08/2009

Comment Posted: 27/08/2009 12:34

I look forward to seeing you again, and meeting The Neuroplasticity

author, I recommended the book to many people, and they have found it


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