Neuroplasticity on the radio

Dr. Norman Doidge

Dr. Norman Doidge

Stephanie West Allen, who runs the blog Brains On Purpose, alerted me to the fact that the Australian ABC has posted audio files of a couple of interviews with Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and Dr. Norman Doidge, the author of The Brain That Changes Itself (see her post, NeuroMediators: Understanding the brain is a critical key to resolving conflict (both within a culture and between cultures)). Dr. Doidge has been in Australia, attending several writers’ festivals and a workshop on ‘neuro-leadership.’ My wife caught his interview on The 7:30 Report, one of the better in depth news analysis programs on ABC TV, but I have not been able to attend any of the events where he spoke (what can I say? It’s a really really bad semester here…).

The original radio shows, audio recordings and transcripts (!) are available on the ABC All in the Mind website:
Part 1 of 2: The Power of Plasticity
Part 2 of 2 – The power of plasticity
See especially Part 2 as there are links to a host of other resources, such as the video of an interview Dr. Doidge did on ABC television while he was here in Australia, and discussions of the work of Prof. Paul Bach-y-Rita, one of the pioneers in work on neuroplasticity, including his research on technological prostheses for missing sensory information.

The material is great, and I’m nearly finished with Doidge’s book, but I still have several reservations about it even though I share the fascination with neuroplasticity and enthusiasm for Doidge’s work:
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Ptak Science Books

John Ptak runs an interesting blog where he explores the “History of Ideas–unusual connections in the history of science and mathematics with the arts and social history.” His musings and reflections, his use of striking imagery, and his grounded historical approach make for some enjoyable online reading.

I ran across it while looking for an image of Darwin’s “branching tree” diagram, which he handily included in this post The Wrong Stuff, Righted–the Attack on Darwin’s Descent, 1871.

Ptak Science Books features in the same month of March this striking image of Albrecht Durer’s Geometrical Man, a creation that astounded me for dating to the 1500s.

More recently he’s explored the building and use of the atomic bomb, the hidden geography in old prints, and historical breakthroughs in astronomy.