Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. 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 Taylor to completely recover all of her physical function and thinking ability. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (published in 2008 by Viking Penguin). In 2008, Taylor gave a presentation at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA, which turned out to be the first TED talk to ever go viral through the internet. TED and Taylor became world famous instantaneously and her TED remains one of the top five most viewed TED talks of all time. This now famous 18-minute presentation catapulted her story into the public eye, and within six weeks of presenting that TED talk, Taylor was chosen as one of TIME magazine's “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2008, she was the premiere guest on Oprah's “Soul Series” web-cast, and her book My Stroke of Insight became a New York Times best seller.
Taylor is currently working with the Hawn Foundation on their Mind-Up program, which teaches children about the neuro-circuitry of the human brain involved with reactivity, meditation, mindfulness and cognitive accountability. In addition, she feels passionate about helping others find their way back from neurological trauma, and is involved with the development of the upcoming feature film of her life. Taylor created the not-for-profit organization Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, which is 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.
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