Taylor attended the University of Oxford where she studied physiology and philosophy. She obtained a Masters degree in psychology from Stirling University, and received her doctorate in computational neuroscience from the University of Oxford.
Taylor performed postdoctoral research in the areas of neuroimmunology and cognitive neuroscience. She is a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford and works out of the university's Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics. She performs research in the areas of physiology, psychology and the neuroscience of belief. Taylor presented her research on brainwashing at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in 2005.
In 2003 Taylor won first prize in both the THES/OUP Science Essay competition and the THES Humanities and Social Sciences Writing Prize.
The Science of Thought Control, her first book, was "highly commended" and runner-up in the 2005 Times Higher Education Supplement Young Academic Author Award, and also made it to the shortlist for the 2005 MIND "Book of the Year Award". The book also made it to the longlist of the 2005 Aventis "Science Book Prize", where it was described as containing "elegant and accessible prose".