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My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
My Stroke of Insight A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
Author: Jill Bolte Taylor PhD
In 1996, 37-year-old neuroanatomist Taylor experienced a massive stroke that erased her abilities to walk, talk, do mathematics, read, or remember details. Her remarkable story details her slow recovery of those abilities (and the cultivation of new ones) and recounts exactly what happened with her brain. Read proficiently by the author, this is...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780452295544
ISBN-10: 0452295548
Publication Date: 5/26/2009
Pages: 192
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 46

3.6 stars, based on 46 ratings
Publisher: Plume
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

bookwuman avatar reviewed My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A mind-blowing account of the author's experience before, during, and after a major hemorrhagic stroke due to an AVM. This book leads to the question, "who am I" or, "who is this 'I' I take myself to be?". Very thought-provoking for those with an open mind.

What makes this book especially interesting is that the author is a brain researcher and describes and explains the way our brains work so anyone can understand.

We clearly have far more control over our daily experience than we imagine. Read this book to find out how and why.

With much insight, this book fascinates and, ultimately, inspires us to tend the gardens of our minds.

Highly recommended.
reviewed My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of the best books I have read this year! Taylor's book covers a number of aspects of having a stroke. Because she is a brain scientist, she was able to notice what was happening as her stroke progressed. She then talks about her rehabilitation and includes many sympathetic experiences that can teach us all about relating to stroke victims. The last part of the book discusses her experience reentering life having lost and regained the use of the left half of her brain. This is the part that never shuts up and often plays negative, nagging tapes in our heads. (Also is the mathematical and spatial part, so it's not all bad!) As she recovered, she found that she had control over what circuits she rewired in her brain and the last chapter is part A Course in Miracles, part Eckhart Tole. I found it very uplifting and inspiring and encouraging that the more we choose to feel, say, joy, the more those pathways become ingrained in our minds. A must read!
DiveGirl38 avatar reviewed My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey on
Helpful Score: 3
Fascinating. The first part is an almost surreal story about surviving a stroke but the book has more to offer. The author had been a well-educated but often stressed out and resentful person like so many in this modern world. Then she gained a new viewpoint after half of her brain was damaged. If you are ready to hear the author's message you can learn a lot about taking ownership of your own thoughts and reactions.
reviewed My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey on + 289 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

During the early history of neurology, strokes were informative "natural experiments:" by correlating specific lesions with specific neurological deficits, we learned about the normal functions of the different parts from the brain. However, there was little direct input from the patient. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a striking exception. In 1996, the 37-year-old Harvard neuroanatomist experienced a massive stroke. Remarkably, she survived, made a full recovery in eight years, and describes her experiences in My Stroke of Insight.

She became more aware of how her brain works: while her left hemisphere was rendered dysfunctional, her functioning right hemisphere filled her with a sense of connectedness and inner peace. After some introductory chapters explaining her background and brain science, she describes the morning of the stroke and the weeks immediately following in great detail. Then the book takes on an almost New Age direction. By becoming more attuned to her right hemisphere, she chose to experience joy and compassion (and we can too).

I believe Dr. Taylor makes some important points: we can all improve our understanding of a patient's perspective and needs; the brain is a resilient, adaptive organ; becoming aware of neural processes can help us attain conscious control over our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. In short, through reading this book I started constructing the scaffold by which I can hope to understand "Eastern thought" (for the lack of a better term) on a scientific level. However, keep in mind that this book is about one person's experience, which is not necessarily generalizable. I found her writing style to be overly poetic and repetitive—how many times is she going to write Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, hook into [neural loops], and step to the right—but heart-warming in its positive message.

yolandita avatar reviewed My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey on
Helpful Score: 1
Written on three levels, this book is for people who have had someone in their lives have a stroke, For people interested in the area of psychology and brain biology, and most interestingly, for people on the spiritual path.
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reviewed My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey on
Amazing perspective on suffering from and recovering from a stoke. Though the insights she gained from her experiences were remarkable, the last few chapters were repetitive and dragged. A worthwhile read overall.


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