Sunday, April 06, 2014

Brain Plasticity with Michael Merzenich (Brain Science Podcast 105)

This is the January episode of the Dr. Ginger Campbell's fabulous Brain Science Podcast, #105, featuring a discussion with Michael Merzenich, author of Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life.

One of the books not listed in the "further reading" section is The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, by Jeffrey Schwartz, but it too is an excellent book on this topic.

Brain Plasticity with Michael Merzenich (BSP 105)

Posted January 21, 2014 | Ginger Campbell, MD

Michael Merzenich

If you have read anything about brain plasticity you have seen the name Michael Merzenich. Dr. Merzenich is one of the pioneers in this field, having spent over 30 years documenting that the human brain (and that of other mammals) continues to change throughout life. I interviewed Dr. Merzenich several years ago (BSP 54), but the publication of his first book Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life gave us another opportunity to talk about how we can apply these discoveries in our daily lives.

According to Dr. Merzenich,
"No matter how much you've struggled, no matter where you've been in your life, you're in charge of your life going forward. And you have the capacity; you have the resources to change things for the better—always have that capacity. And that's what the book is trying to emphasize. “ (BSP 105)
I found Soft-Wired very compelling because it combines a clear explanation of the science with many stories about real people facing a wide variety of cognitive challenges. The overall tone of the book is very optimistic even though it also considers the way bad choices can contribute to cognitive decline.

Ginger Campbell, MD
BSP 105 Brain Plasticity with Dr. Michael Merzenich (link takes you to the BSP site to listen to the podcast or listen at one of the ways below)

How to get this episode:
The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

Related Episodes:
  • BSP 10: Introduction to Brain Plasticity.
  • BSP 17: Discussion of The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older by Elkhonon Goldberg.
  • BSP 28: Interview with Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself.
  • BSP 33: Interview with Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.
  • BSP 54: Interview with Dr. Michael Merzenich, author of Soft-Wired.
  • BSP 87: Interview with Dr. Pam Greenwood, co-author of Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind.
Further Reading:
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