We had it coming, I suppose; it’s in the air but you don’t immediately recognize it: neurosophy. I would describe it as a slightly unhinged way of pontificating around neurological damage, assuredly the most upsetting type of damage we can encounter as humans. In order to soften the neurological blow, the neurosophist drags neurological concepts into a context that has nothing to do with neurology. You might say that in this activity neurons are taken to church, where they have no business. I shall come back to the churchy part later. Part of what Jill Bolte Taylor does in her book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey might be called neurosophy. She describes what she went through when she was struck by a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain. (You can listen to her vivid description of the event on YouTube under her name.) Her book reads as both a thrilling and a frightening report of a visit to a region where, alas, quite a few people stray, only not many live to tell the tale with the vivacity Taylor brings to the subject. She is a neuroanatomist, and halfway through her ordeal she realizes: This is a unique chance-I’m a brain scientist and I am right in the middle of an actual stroke!

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