Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stroke of Insight

I just finished reading My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor and I highly recommend it to everyone. Jill Taylor was a neuroanatomist who had a severe stroke on the left side of her brain and managed to recover completely. It took 8 years of step by step progress in which she needed to relearn everything most of us take for granted. How to talk and understand language, how to walk, how to dress and feed herself. And now she has gone back to teaching brain anatomy on the college level, and promotes brain research across the country.

Her book is fascinating because she tells the story of what it was like to have a stroke and what it was like to recover from it from the perspective of not only someone who experienced it but as a scientist who was fascinated with the process and delights in sharing it. Not only that, her book offers very interesting insights into the functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, especially in terms of processing experience. She's waxes very eloquent about how living in the right brain is very much identical to what people experience in high states of mystical experience.

It's a great book, easy to read and understand. It could be invaluable to anybody taking care of a loved one with stroke but I recommend to everybody.

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