Top positive review
Wonderful (obvious in retrospect) insights
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2018
I am surprised at the negative reviews. I have spent about 2000 hours over the last 20 months researching all aspects of cognitive impairment in the elderly. I have read at least 1900 abstracts of scientific papers, 522 complete papers, 6 books besides this one, and at least 200 pertinent articles or blog posts. I am a bit stunned that I never came across this book until now - it is copyrighted 2013. The book is written in layman's language, uses examples and analogies that are easy to connect with, and is very informative. Reading some of the papers that Michael Merzenich has authored/coauthored will give you an idea of how the technical language on this subject can be close to incomprehensible, a problem this book completely overcomes - quite a feat for such an involved technologist/researcher.
I have read a lot on brain plasticity and brain exercises, but this book gave me several new insights that I had not seen before - some that are wonderfully obvious once your attention is called to them. The author gives many examples of why our brains' capabilities decay for lack of
use, in ways that we never think about, and often because of the technological developments we love because they make that disuse possible. Wow!
Some critics perceive the book only as a "come-on" for Posit Science's brain training software. I am thankful that such software exists, so I can now avoid the decay it can prevent or remedy, and I welcome the explanations of why I need it and how I can benefit from it. While I am not considered cognitively impaired by the usual tests, at age 83 I can recognize some of the symptoms (in me) of decline the book describes. I am starting the training immediately.
This book is a "must read" for every loving caregiver who helps an impaired loved one or patient, and for every senior citizen who wants to retain their faculties to the end.
The "Catch 22" of early cognitive impairment is that the impairment can keep the victims from knowing they have the problem. The one star
reviewers have missed the message, and may need the book much more than they realize.
PS - One or more one star reviewers deplored the lack of reference links. Every chapter ends with an instruction to link to the references at www.softwired.com/ref/ch_.