Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist whose research specialized in understanding how our brain creates our perception of reality. She was interested in this subject because she has a brother who is diagnosed with the brain disorder schizophrenia.
As irony would have it, in 1996 at the age of 37, Dr. Jill experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain. On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke (AVM), she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely rebuild her brain to recover all physical, emotional, and thinking abilities.
Dr. Jill is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey (published in 2008 by Viking Penguin), which is still often the #1 book about STROKE sold in the Amazon marketplace. In addition, her second book WHOLE BRAIN LIVING: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life was published in May of 2021 by Hay House and is now readily available.
In 2008, Dr. Jill gave a presentation about her experience with stroke at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA, which was the first TED talk to ever go viral through the internet. TED and Dr. Jill became world-famous instantaneously and that TED talk has now been viewed well over 27.5 million times. This 18-minute presentation catapulted Dr. Jill into the public eye, and within six weeks of presenting that TED talk, she was chosen as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, she was the premiere guest on Oprah’s Soul Series webcast, and her book My Stroke of Insight became a New York Times bestseller and remained on the list for 63 weeks.
Dr. Jill is passionate about educating the public about the beauty of our human brain, and she is committed to not only helping others find their way back from neurological trauma but is eager to help everyone better understand their brain so they can live their best life. Her Foundation Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS is dedicated to providing educational services and promoting programs that are 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.
Dr. Jill remains the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank), whereby she educates the public about the shortage of brain tissue donated for research into the severe mental illnesses. Since 1993, she has been an active member of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), by serving for three years on the National NAMI Board of Directions and later spent over ten years as the president of the local level NAMI Greater Bloomington Area affiliate in Bloomington, Indiana.