Jill Bolte Taylor ( born May 4, 1959) is an American neuroanatomist, author, and inspirational public speaker. Bolte Taylor began to study about severe mental illnesses because she wanted to understand what makes the brain function the way it does and the cause between her dreams being distinguished from reality while her brother cannot disconnect his dreams from reality, making them a delusion. Dr. Taylor began working in a lab in Boston where they were mapping out the brain to figure out which cells communicate with which cells. On December 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor had a stroke — a blood vessel had erupted on the left side of her brain. She had been able to witness her own brain begin to shut down. Within a span of four hours, she could not speak, read, walk, write or remember anything from her past. Dr. Taylor compares her stroke to being like an infant again. Her personal experience with a massive stroke, experienced in 1996 at the age of 37, and her subsequent eight-year recovery, influenced her work as a scientist and speaker. It is the subject of her 2006 book My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. She gave the first TED talk that ever went viral on the Internet, after which her book became a NY Times bestseller and was published in 30 languages. Bolte Taylor's training is in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses.For her book and public outreach related to strokes, in May 2008 she was named to Time Magazine's 2008 Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. "My Stroke of Insight" received the top "Books for a Better Life" Book Award in the Science category from the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society on February 23, 2009 in New York City. Bolte Taylor founded the nonprofit Jill Bolte Taylor Brains, Inc., she is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine, and she is the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center.