Brains can be tinkered with, you guys. And not just with, like, tinker toys (by which I mean scalpels, and those long pokey sticks they used to use to lobotomize you through the eye sockets) but with behavior, because the things you do change the shape of your brain.
And brains can learn (I totally wanted to photoshop some eyeballs onto a brain to make it look sentient and menacing, like autonomous brains were going to take over the earth, but you all know that my ‘photoshop’ skills consist of shoddy MS Paint) so that if you have vertigo (say) and you get a thingy to put in your mouth that tells you which way ‘down’ is, your brain will learn not to trust your lying eyes (and inner ears) but the thingy in your mouth and then you will not have vertigo, which will be GREAT because vertigo has got to be the worst thing after permanent hiccups.
Doidge has a handful of case studies that illustrate some point or other about the plasticity of the brain, and he uses those as a jumping-off point to explain how the brain is a much less mechanical beast than we ever thought and all the ways that Science is using this new knowledge to Fix Things. And I will not lie, I’m tempted to see if I can re-jigger my own brain now. Like, maybe if I work really hard on my handwriting I can make my visual-spatial skills not suck so badly so I wont always be falling down stairs? You will want to neuroscientize yourself, I promise.
Also, you will want to read this. I can’t see how brain science is something I’d be inherently interested in, so the amount I want you to pick this up suggests that it’s pretty universally great.