The Science of Success

Profound Insights In Brain Science Revealed During A Stroke? with Dr. Jill Taylor

May 3, 2018
In this episode, we explore the brain. Are the two halves of the brain really that different? What is the idea of whole brain thinking? How do you get your brain to do what you want it to do? Can we become more “right brained” or “left brained” if we want to? And we also dig into the personal story of our guest - a neuroanatomist who suffered from a devastating stroke - and how the experience transformed her worldview - with our guest Dr. Jill Taylor. 
Dr. Jill Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist. She is the bestselling author of her memoir My Stroke Of Insight which recounts her experience and recovery after a severe stroke, which left her unable to walk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Here iconic TED talk has been viewed over 22 million times and her work has been featured all over the globe from Oprah to the New York Times and more.
  • Are the two halves of the brain really completely disconnected?
  • The right hemisphere and the left hemisphere process the world completely differently 
  • Whole brain thinking - how to think about yourself and the world in a holistic way by integrating both hemispheres into your thinking process 
  • The different hemispheres have different value structures and ways of perceiving the world 
  • Every ability we have is a result of brain cells that perform that function - if those cells go away, we lose that function
  • The more you practice/use a group of cells in the brain, the more automatically those cellular networks run - that’s true for an athlete training, and it's also true for how we think and act in the world 
  • Whatever cells we exercise become dominant, and those begin to shape our thinking and action
  • Is it true that people can be more left brained or right brained?
  • How you can engage processing in the hemisphere that you are less dominant in
  • How do you get your brain to do you want it to do?
    • Self-awareness is a KEY component and the first step 
    • Get an understanding of how much time you’re spending with each brain hemisphere being dominant
    • Do your brain hemisphere’s get along?
  • Each of your own cognitive minds (left and right hemisphere) have their own emotional limbic systems
  • What should someone do if they don’t feel like they have the power or don’t understand how to CHOOSE which hemisphere to engage?
  • Look at your own patterning and begin understanding how you react to given situations
  • How do shape your reactions to negative emotional experiences
  • The importance of observing your emotions instead of engaging in them - the simple fact that you’re alive and capable of having an experience of the negative experience is a powerful thing 
  • Why is not the question its the WOW
  • We all get caught up in the oh my gosh, I'm so important - when really we are just stardust
  • The incredible story of how Dr. Taylor’s own stroke was a profound experience
  • The experience of being one with everything that came from Dr. Taylor’s stroke
  • Mindfulness research shows that certain thought patterns can transform and change our brain circuitry 
  • Is the idea that we are separate from everything else a controlled illusion maintained by the brain?
  • The profound lessons that come from having your entire left hemisphere shut down
  • What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change our brain?
  • Neuroplasticity is a fundamental property of the neurological system
  • Homework “pay attention to what’s inside of your head"