2000 Nobel Prize winner, Eric Kandel's research overturned 400 years of brain theory and ushered in a new paradigm in treating brain and nervous system disabilities, transitioning from compensation to recovery-based modalities.
These books detail some of the more well-known and inspiring discoveries and research on neuroplasticity that are easy reads. Dr. Norman Doidge's and Sharon Begley's books are a great place to start to get an overview of the science and its potential impact to help people recover from neurological disability. For those seeking a more scientific review, please look for articles published by the list of researchers provided at right.
The Mind and The Brain, 2003; Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, 2007; The Emotional Life of Your Brain, 2012
"Train Your Mind" was the first popular account of how the brain can change. It explores how meditation and other forms of mental training can alter the structure and function of the brain.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz
Brain Lock, 1996; The Mind & The Brain, 2003; You Are Not Your Brain, 2012
Dr. Schwartz, a psychiatrist, has researched and applied the principles of neuroplasticity in treating mental health. His books detail the research and methodology that can be used by individuals in overcoming OCD, destructive thinking, etc.
Vision and Sensory Perception
Bach-y-Rita proved the brain's adaptability with regards to sensory perception. He demonstrated that if one sense sustained damage, the other senses might be able to compensate.
Along with Peter Erikkson, he discovered that the human brain continues to produce new nerve cells in adulthood. Until then, it had been assumed that humans are born with a finite number of cells.
Proved that the brains of primates demonstrate neurogenesis, the generation of new nerve cells and proposes that humans continue to generate new neurons in the hippocampal region.
Synapse and Memory
Won 2000 Nobel Prize for research demonstrating the role synapses play in storing memories.
Jon H. Kaas
Brain Sensory Mapping
Along with Michael Merzenich, proved through research that the areas of the brain that control certain functions can change based on neuron growth, which illustrated the brain was a "use it or lose it" based system.
Neuronal Firing Patterns
Research is focused on how neural circuits generate firing patterns that control rhythmic muscle movements. These movements are used in breathing, walking, and food digestion.
As he Father of Neuroplasticity, his research in brain mapping with Jon Kass and further research on the ability to shape the brain at various stages of aging and the ability to improve cognition through mental exercise.
Popularized the phrase "Cells that fire together, wire together." Multiple discoveries on controlling the synaptic connections that wire neurons together to increase plasticity