Book Review: The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (Revised Edition)

By Norman Doidge, MD Scribe Publications, Melbourne, Australia 2010

When I first heard the title of this book last year I immediately thought of J.L. Moreno’s (1978) Canon of Creativity, that circular/spiral relationship between the conserve and spontaneous new role development. With my underlying biological orientation as a psychiatrist I am always on the lookout for developing perspectives on the foundational biological processes of spontaneity, creativity and role development. How does the brain work? And how does it accommodate on going progressive change that facilitates continuous development of roles and the self ?

For a long time the brain has been viewed as developing a fixed and conserved structure. Its various functions are seen as localised in particular areas to provide and use discreet, un-transferable processes. This view of the neurological brain does not accord with my psychodramatic experience. Although my understanding of conserved role functioning fits, the spontaneity process and the creation, training and integration of new roles does not.

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