The Neuroanatomical Transformation of the Teenage Brain
Jill Bolte Taylor
- Wrote the New York Times’ best-selling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
- Chosen by TIME Magazine in 2008 as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World
- Delivers compelling and inspiring speeches about the human brain
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Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a trained and published neuroanatomist. Her specialty was in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses. Because she has a brother who has been diagnosed with the brain disorder schizophrenia, Dr. Taylor served for three years on the Board of Directors of National NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) between 1994-1997. (Currently she serves as President of the Greater Bloomington Affiliate of NAMI in Bloomington, Indiana.)
Because there is a long term shortage of brain tissue donated for postmortem research by individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, Dr. Taylor travels as the National Spokesperson for the Mentally Ill for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank) located at McLean Hospital. As the Singin’ Scientist, Dr. Taylor delivers a very popular keynote address titled How To Get Your Brain To Do What You Want It To Do.
But as irony would have it, on December 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor woke up to discover that she was experiencing a rare form of stroke, an arterio-venous malformation (AVM). Two and a half weeks later, on December 27, 1996, she underwent major brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to remove a golf ball size blood clot that was placing pressure on the language centers in the left hemisphere of her brain.
It took eight years for Dr. Taylor to successfully rebuild her brain - from the inside out. In response to the swelling and trauma of the stroke, which placed pressure on her dominant left hemisphere, the functions of her right hemisphere blossomed. Among other things, she now creates and sells unique stained glass brains when commissioned to do so. In addition, she published a book about her recovery from stroke and the insights she gained into the workings of her brain. The New York Times best-selling memoir is titled My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey.
In February 2008, Dr. Taylor gave a presentation at the prestigious TED Conference. A video of that presentation was posted on the TED website which was immediately viewed by millions of people around the world. The response to the video launched Dr. Taylor into becoming a highly sought-after public speaker. She was chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008 and was the premiere guest on Oprah’s Soul Series web-cast. In addition, she was interviewed by Oprah and Dr. Mehmet Oz on The Oprah Winfrey Show in October, 2008.
Dr. Taylor now serves as the CEO of My Stroke of Insight, Inc. and as the Chairman of the Board of the not-for-profit Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, Inc. She is working on the creation of a Serious Game for Health for neurological recovery as she feels passionate about helping others find their way back from neurological trauma. In addition, she is working on her next book and is excited about the upcoming feature film of her life. She has just created Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing educational services and promoting programs related to the advancement of brain awareness, appreciation, exploration, education, injury prevention, neurological recovery, and the value of movement on mental and physical health, as well as other activities that support this purpose. She travels extensively as a keynoter at conferences around the world and is having a wonderful time helping others learn more about their own brains and how to realize that peace really is just a thought away.
My Stroke of Insight. This speech focuses on the content of Dr. Jill’s book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey.
How to Get Your Brain To Do What You Want It To Do. This speech explores how we can create a healthy environment for the cells making up our brain so they can exhibit optimal health and performance.
Who’s Who Inside of You? This talk focuses on identifying the different personalities, talents, and skill-sets within each of our hemispheres with the intention of developing our ability to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world.
90 Seconds to Happiness. How we think is just as important as what we think; you have to know the brain to train the brain. With brains still developing and incredibly impressionable into our mid 20’s, this talk focuses on understanding how the choices we make and the thoughts we think are influenced by the environment around us. Finding the intersection between logic and creativity will help you take charge of your thoughts and directly influence your level of happiness.
Compassion in Medicine. This keynote focuses on the paradigm shift which understands that neuroplasticity of the brain not only supports neurological recovery but is our means for manifesting it. Medical professionals learn first hand what it was like for another medical professional to experience this level of illness and recovery, as well as what was needed and what interfered with neuronal recovery.
Advocate for Humanity. Once you understand yourself and the biology of your brain, you can more easily understand others and can identify commonalities among people with very different cultures/viewpoints/experiences.
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Senior On-Air Medical Correspondent and Chief of Medical Affairs for HealthiNation