A “Stroke of Insight” Story

The World’s Greatest Yoga Instructor, Emma Tranter, turned me onto this fascinating video presentation, from “TED,” Technology, Entertainment, Design, which “started (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Taylor tells an amazing story that takes on special meaning because of her role as a neuroanatomist. Through her stroke, she gains new “insider” insight into the brain’s function and the human ability to achieve an astonishing state of being.

One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness …

Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the “Singin’ Scientist.”

“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.”
– Jill Bolte Taylor