Entries Tagged 'Medicine' ↓

This is Your Brain on Your Brain: Scientist Gives Blow-by-Blow Account of Her Own Stroke

TED logoIf I could have been anywhere other than with you, last week, it would have been in Monterey CA at the TED Conference. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and the event, held annually since 1984, thrives on bringing together disparate thinkers from diverse fields to ask less-than-obvious, critical questions about ideas. Big-picture stuff.

Of course, people from WIRED went, and one, Kim Zetter, brought back this report of a presentation by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist with the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington. I’d not heard of Dr. Taylor before this piece, but now, man, I’ve got to get this woman on NONFICTION, my WBAI-NY radio show.

Dr. Jill Bolte TaylorSee, on December 10, 1996, Taylor woke up to realize that she was having a strokeā€”a rare type called an arterio-venous malformation or AVM. What makes the episode odd, yet captivating, as Taylor recounts it, says Zetter, is that her

knowledge of the brain made her the perfect witness to her body’s gradual shutdown. Over the course of four hours she watched her body deteriorate in stages, all the while processing its breakdown as if she were a curious explorer taking field notes.

Yet, at first, she didn’t realize what was happening to her. So after feeling searing discomfort in her head,

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