Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America, killing 150,000 people a year. The survivors can face a difficult challenge, as they may need to relearn simple activities such as talking, reading or dressing themselves.

For one neuroscientist, experiencing a massive stroke and recovering from it resulted in a completely different understanding of how the brain works. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor stars in a popular YouTube videoclip. Now she shares her unique perspective on how the two halves of our brains work together, and what the right brain contributes when the left side is affected by a stroke.

This is the second show in a two-part series on stroke.

Guest: Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, is a neuroanatomist and a stroke survivor affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine. She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2008. Her book is titled: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Her Web site is

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  1. Cindy, Huron, SD

    Just wanted to thank you for the interview with Dr. Taylor. Her description of the bliss she felt during her stroke was such a comfort to me – my dad died 3 yrs. ago, after experiencing a serious stroke affecting his right side. He never communicated with us during the month between his stroke and his death, and I’ve always assumed he was suffering because of his helplessness then. Now I can hope that he, too, was feeling bliss, at least some of that time, and a weight has been lifted from me. Again, thank you, and Dr. Taylor, for this gift.

  2. yolandie b.

    I have a four year old daughter who suffered stroke at the age of two years old, i still have unanswered questions about what happened to my little girl and how i can help her to completely recover, it has been two years, please if any of you can help us let me know. i only heard a brief part of your program, but what happened to my baby is similar to what happened to Dr.Taylor, please help us to better understand the nature of my little girl’s illness and how we can move on from here. Thank you.

  3. Alison Ellis

    Thank you for the fascinating interview with Dr. Taylor!
    As a professional artist who was once a Biophysics major at Johns Hopkins (1985-87) I have spent the last 20 years contemplating the differences between right & left brain function.
    Several members of my family have had strokes, but none has weathered it as well as Dr. Taylor; which makes the question of ‘choice’ particularly compelling to me. I believe we all can have a choice of which side of our brains to use at any given moment. (I did when I chose to become an artist.) But how can we convince every human being that he or she has that choice??
    Short of having a stroke, or having certain parts of the left side of my brain cauterized, I hope to one day be able to have a spiritual experience similar to Dr. Taylor’s.
    I didn’t realize there was anyone out there with that combination of experience & wisdom! Her book will be the next one I buy!
    Thanks again for the enlightening (in more ways than one) interview! Love your show!
    Swan Quarter, NC

  4. VN

    Just heard your show on Stroke of Insight. Thank you so much. Will be sharing this info with people and hope that I will be able to grow from this wonderful woman’s lessons.

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