Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist, or a scientist, researcher, and professor who studies the brain. At the age of 37, she suffered a stroke and remembers it vividly. She recently spoke at TED 08. Make time to watch this 18 minute video. She has no notes, no lecturn, minimal slides that serve a purpose, and an important visual aid.
Fascinating and inspiring.
From her website:
One morning in late 1996, Taylor, a research scientist who worked at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (a.k.a., the Brain Bank), awoke with a sharp pain behind her left eye, and soon enough — as her speech and motor functions failed her, as she melted into what she called a euphoric stupor and lost all sense of where “Dr. Jill” ended and the rest of the universe began — she realized this was no ordinary headache. It was, she later learned, a blown AVM: the rupture of a congenitally deformed vein-artery connection deep inside her brain. She was in the first stage of a potentially killer stroke — and she was alone in her apartment and had lost the capacity to think or act rationally or even communicate with the outside world.
... Taylor’s story at its darkest courses with gratitude and humor and, most of all, amazement, as she recounts what happened to her with Ph.D.-level clarity and awareness of detail combined with childlike exuberance. The sudden loss of her left-brain organizational and self-defining capabilities was not, for instance, terrifying. Life-threatening though her predicament was, Taylor saw her stroke as a gift of unparalleled awareness: the shattering of the self-created box we live in that we call “life.” [by Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services, 3/15/07 - a review of Dr. Taylor's book, My Stroke of Insight]
Hat tip: Presentation Zen