I never shop from my phone, but given Theo and I were away for the weekend (researching our next phase of life), I felt it was worth the risk responding to The School of Life‘s Dr Norman Doidge event and booked our two tickets.

Glad I did. The event was sold out within the week and over 300 people were on the cancellation list.

In 2011, after my peripheral stimulation device was implanted (and having my reading ability restored), I reached for  Dr Doidge‘s, The Brain That Changes Itself, and grasped the idea to contact Prof Lorimer Moseley who was referenced within the book.

That idea led to my diagnosis.

So my mind ran. What might happen if I actually met Dr Doidge?!

I won’t keep you hanging. There is sadly no spectacular event to report… yet (forever hopeful remember)! But… come question time, I did get to clarify the niggle that has been roaming around my brain since the book was released which is, Are Some Brains More Plastic than Others?

From my understanding of Dr Doidge‘s thorough explanation (remember I’d been sitting a while so things were getting foggy and very sore) he replied, yes and explained his clinical experience with the unwell brain that for example caused illnesses such as Dementia.

Below is a video of Dr Doidge‘s ‘noisy brain’ explanation which differs from the unwell brain.

You will all know the answer I was seeking, is it possible I have permanent damage?

After listening to these two responses I’m hoping my brain is just a bit noisy and needs some synchronisation:

I believe RMIT or The School of Life were filming the whole event so here’s hoping we’ll get it online somewhere, otherwise there are many videos featuring Dr Doidge on YouTube.

Ok, so I do have a signed copy of the book and the suggestion from Dr Doidge was to head straight to Chapters 1 and 4. I will do that and report post-haste!

What I came away with after hearing Dr Doidge

The best points:

  • He approaches patient consultations as a medical ‘agnostic’
  • Terms Dr Doidge used like ‘noisy brain’
  • Traditional therapies do work
  • Sensory treatments do work
  • And to correct facts, it was Freud who originally began to document the ‘synapses’
  • Moshé Feldenkrais is a genius.

The reality hit:

  • The clinical studies and findings of Dr Doidge are the beginnings of a dialogue
  • These clinical studies are encouragement to continue his research
  • We cannot define the mind yet
  • Sounds can hurt (and sadly do so for me)
  • No one funds the good stuff, just the ‘sure’ stuff which really isn’t so sure (probably just more sellable!)

The ‘oh dear’:

  • I was not given an instant fix treatment
  • I definitely have a noisy brain
  • Wendy Zukerman… I believe we lost a bit of quality question time there and I found the equal naming rights very odd!


  • one more video snippet as I found the explanation about the naming of the book very interesting