Dr. Michael Merzenich, PhD, is one of the scientists responsible for our current understanding of brain plasticity–the notion that the brain can change itself at any age. In Soft-Wired, Dr. Merzenich explains how the brain develops and grows throughout youth and early adulthood, and how positive and negative brain plasticity remodel the brain across the lifespan. Finally, he offers sound advice for how to evaluate your own brain–and how your lifestyle may be changing it for better or worse–and offers clear, specific, scientifically proven advice for how you can rejuvenate, remodel, and reshape your brain at any age.
Learn more about Dr. Merzenich or read an excerpt from Soft-Wired here.
Praise for Soft-Wired
“Soft-Wired is the most authoritative, useful and entertaining book on the subject of brain plasticity. Written by the scientist who launched the field, this book stands above them all. If you take Merzenich’s science to heart, you’ll understand how you came to be the person you are and how to become the better, stronger person you could be.”
– Sandra Blakeslee, New York Times science writer
“Soft-Wired is one of the most important books on health and aging ever written. In Soft Wired, Professor Mike Merzenich shows that many ailments we think of as physical or an inevitable result of aging are actually caused by brain defects and brain decline. Backed by numerous scientific studies, Merzenich shows how mental decline can be stopped and reversed with simple and practical brain exercises. It is both a sobering story about how our brains age and an uplifting one about what you can do about it. If you are fifty or older you will want to read this book.”
– Jeff Hawkins, Author of On Intelligence and Co-Founder of Grok
“Soft-Wired is the book we have all been waiting for. From the brilliant researcher and pioneer of the neuroscience of brain plasticity, Dr. Michael Merzenich, we learn first hand how the brain changes itself throughout life and how we can take advantage of this remarkable quality to transform our lives and the lives of our
children to have healthier, fuller, and empowered lives.”
– Anat Baniel, author of Move Into Life and Kids Beyond Limits, and founder of the Anat Baniel Method
“Michael Merzenich, PhD, can be likened to a mystery writer in neuroscience. Thirty years ago a volcano of brain plasticity research erupted after he presented compelling evidence the brain is adaptable across the life span. This created a paradigm shift from the doom and gloom of aging and brain atrophy to an optimist commitment to life long learning to maximize brain agility. Dr. Merzenich’s discoveries are fundamental to the development of cochlear implants and learning based training programs for dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease and aging. Dr. Merzenich warns against routine, habitual mindless activities and challenges us to manage our stress and pursue wellness based fun, challenging, dynamic and novel experiences within the settings of work, community and home. The reader is not bored with a litany of scientific reviews but is referred to on line research resources about basic neuroscience research. This allows Dr. M to converse with each reader about challenging the brain within the context of daily living. This is a compelling, ”must read” book for physicians, rehabilitation therapists, psychologists, educators, elders, care givers, parents, and those committed to improve the quality of life post traumatic stress, brain injury, neurodegeneration, memory loss or depression.”
– Dr. Nancy Nies Byl, MPH, PhD, PT, Professor & Chair Emeritus, UCSF
“Mike Merzenich’s innovative neuroscience research has revolutionized the way we view our brains. With practical advice that anyone can follow, Merzenich informs us that it’s never too late to improve our mental abilities. Soft-wired captures the brain’s Rx for living our entire lives with a brain operating at or near full capacity–after reading this book you’ll be equipped to control your neural destiny!”
– Kelly Lambert, PhD, author of Lifting Depression and The Lab Rat Chronicles
“Michael Merzenich is the neuroscientist who, more than any other,persuaded skeptical colleagues that our brain maps are plastic, and can change their structure and function with mental experience. But he is also a brilliant visionary and an extraordinary inventor who has put his vision into practice, and, to my knowledge, developed more effective computer-based brain exercises than anyone alive, wholly based on his detailed understanding of neuroplasticity. In this book, written for a popular audience in a personal way, he explains how plasticity affects the brain across the lifespan, with an emphasis on how to use it to deal with the fact our brains age, and are prone to decline. It contains the most compelling argument I have seen showing why our most sophisticated brain exercises are far better than medications, crosswords or “brain games” to improve and maintain our cognitive fitness, and it demonstrates they also provide us with protection from the symptoms of a broad spectrum of neurological diseases. He gives many compelling examples of people who had neurological injuries or diseases, and who got their cognitive functions back. He even shows that some risk factors for oAlzheimer’s Disease can be lowered, and symptoms delayed. Filled with fascinating facts about the brain, this book is also the very personal reflection on how to live, knowing that your brain is plastic, by a fascinating man who, at 71 years of age, is bursting with creativity, and whose own faculties continue to improve.”
– Norman Doidge, M.D., Author of The Brain That Changes Itself
“Dr. Merzenich’s new book provides the clearest yet most thought-provoking treatment of the potential for prevention and recovery of brain diseases and disorders that I have read. It will add significantly to our understanding of the life-changing possibilities of brain plasticity. A great contribution to the field.”
– James E. Williams, Jr., President & CEO, Easter Seals, Inc.