Watch “Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight”

This isn’t new, but someone in the TwitterStream shared it the other day and I just got around to watching it.

It’s a fascinating talk by Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor about the two sides of our brain, how they see the world, and what that means to us. Her revelations came during the process of having a stroke. Talk about lemonades from lemons.

Anyway, I just wanted to do my part to spread the word on this interesting and powerful talk. Get a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable, as the video runs about 20 minutes.

Rather than embed, I’m going to link to the video so you can get all the additional information contained in links off the page that holds the original embed.

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

3 thoughts on “Watch “Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight”

  1. Interesting. That’s a funny situation, a brain scientist going mad.

    I’m schizoaffective. My primary condition is Asperger Syndrome, a sort of mild autism, but I occasionally have mild breaks from reality.

    I’ve experienced what she was talking about where the brain interprets visuals in a strange way. When I was in 7th or 8th grade, my mom took me to the store to buy a new backpack, among other things. She told me to pick the one I wanted. When I told her which one, she gave me a quizzical look and asked “are you sure?”. I didn’t understand, and said of course I was sure. So she bought it. The backpack was black with leather strip, and the leather strip had a design on it. I thought the design was an Aztec-like symmetrical pattern… a cool design, but no true shapes. A day or two later, when my brain righted itself, I realized with horror that the design was a string of flowers! My parents weren’t about to spend another 50 bucks to buy a new backpack, so I just took a black marker to the design and made them black roses. It will still embarrassing, though. haha

    The same thing happens with speech sometimes. Sometimes a person will say something to me and my brain doesn’t order the sounds into language, so I don’t understand. I ask the person to repeat many times, but can never make sense of it. Usually, I realize a few minutes later what the person was saying.

    Another example is about a year or two ago, when I was vacationing with family as my brother was cooking eggs for breakfast. I looked down it the pan and asked how he made the eggs white. I thought eggs were always yellow. Or maybe it was the other way around… the yolk was broken and I thought eggs were always white. In any case, I argued for a full five minutes with my whole family before I finally realized my brain was playing a trick on me. I was temporarily unable to access memories or something, I’m not sure.

    Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it. A psychiatrist once told me that any meds he could give me were just as likely to push me over the edge. Ultimately, it might be beneficial. It improves my imagination and artistic abilities. The problem is that I have no drive to accomplish anything, perhaps because I feel removed from the world as that lady was saying.

  2. Thank you for sharing that, Aaron. It’s hard to imagine what that must feel like. The closest I can think of is a few years back, I was under a ton of emotional stress and I started suffering from what I was told were “fugues”. I’d be in one place…then feel like I suddenly teleported to another place, with no recollection of any time having passed or getting from start to finish. In my case, the distances and times were very short…. 20 feet or so. But it was frightening as all hell. When you realize the mind is a machine of sorts, and that it can do funny things…

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