Dr. Norman Doidge, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and researcher who has written two best-selling books, will give a public lecture in Galveston about the brain’s capacity to heal itself.
Doidge will speak Wednesday at Moody Gardens. He will be the final speaker in the Robert and Russell Moody Lecture Series, which began in 2016. The series, sponsored by The Moody Foundation and The University of Texas Medical Branch, has brought researchers and scientists to Galveston to offer public lectures on the life cycle of the brain.
Doidge became widely known through his first best-seller, “The Brain That Changes Itself.” The book sold more than a million copies worldwide.
Doidge wrote that the brain can change its own structure and function — even in old age and after injury. He said that the concept of neuroplasticity — the idea that the brain can change and adapt — is revolutionary. The old idea that the brain’s complexity made it fragile, fixed and unchanging was simply wrong, he said.
The idea that the brain is permanently hardwired like a computer is similarly wrong, Doidge said.
The book includes case histories of people whose conditions were thought to be hopeless. One case involved a woman who was born with half brain, which rewired itself to function as a whole. Other cases involved people with strokes, cerebral palsy and low learning disorders.
Doidge’s second best-seller, “The Brain’s Way of Healing,” is a more detailed look at how the healing processes work. He argues that the brain has the capacity to respond to noninvasive stimuli, such as light, sound and vibration, which can awaken the brain’s own capacities to adapt without the risks of surgery or drugs.
This book also includes case histories — children on the autistic spectrum and older patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Doidge is on faculty at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry. He is one the Research Faculty at Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York.In addition to his scientific interests, Doidge has written widely for literary journals, magazines and newspapers. He won his first major literary award, a prize for poetry, at 19.
WHAT: Norman Doidge will speak on “The Brain That Changes Itself”
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Moody Gardens IMAX Theater in the Visitor’s Center at 1 Hope Blvd. in Galveston
COST: Free, and the public is invited