Einsteinís Brain Reveals Clues to Genius - "Unique Anatomy"
2012 11 21

By Tia Ghose | LiveScience





Einsteinís brain had extraordinary folding patterns in several regions, which may help explain his genius, newly uncovered photographs suggest.

The photographs, published Nov. 16 in the journal Brain, reveal that the brilliant physicist had extra folding in his brainís gray matter, the site of conscious thinking. In particular, the frontal lobes, regions tied to abstract thought and planning, had unusually elaborate folding, analysis suggests.

"Itís a really sophisticated part of the human brain," said Dean Falk, study co-author and an anthropologist at Florida State University, referring to gray matter. "And [Einsteinís] is extraordinary."



Snapshots of a genius

Albert Einstein was the most famous physicist of the 20th century; his groundbreaking theory of general relativity explained how light curves due to the warping of space-time.

When the scientist died in 1955 at age 76, Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who autopsied him, took out Einsteinís brain and kept it. Harvey sliced hundreds of thin sections of brain tissue to place on microscope slides and also snapped 14 photos of the brain from several angles.

Harvey presented some of the slides, but kept the photos secret in order to write a book about the physicistís brain.

The pathologist died before finishing his book, however, and the photos remained hidden for decades. But in 2010, after striking up a friendship with one of the new studyís co-authors, Harveyís family donated the photos to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C. Falkís team began analyzing the photos in 2011. [See Photos of Einsteinís Brain]

More brainy connections

The team found that, overall, Eintseinís brain had much more complicated folding across the cerebral cortex, which is the gray matter on the surface of the brain responsible for conscious thought. In general, thicker gray matter is tied to higher IQs.

Many scientists believe that more folds can create extra surface area for mental processing, allowing more connections between brain cells, Falk said. With more connections between distant parts of the brain, one would be able to make, in a sense, mental leaps, drawing upon these faraway brain cells to solve some cognitive problem.

The prefrontal cortex, which plays a key role in abstract thought, making predictions and planning, also had an unusually elaborate folding pattern in Einsteinís brain.

That may have helped the physicist develop the theory of relativity. "He did thought experiments where heíd imagine himself riding alongside a beam of light, and this is exactly the part of the brain one would expect to be very active" in such thought experiments, Falk told LiveScience.

In addition, Einsteinís occipital lobes, which perform visual processing, showed extra folds and creases.

The right and left parietal lobes also looked very asymmetrical, Falk said. Itís not clear how those features contributed to Einsteinís genius, but that brain region is key for spatial tasks and mathematical reasoning, Falk said.

The jury is still out on whether Einsteinís brain was extraordinary from birth or whether years of pondering physics made it special.

Falk believes both played a role.

"It was both nature and nurture," she said. "He was born with a very good brain, and he had the kinds of experiences that allowed him to develop the potential he had."

But most of Einsteinís raw ability probably came from a trick of nature rather than a lifetime of hard work, said Sandra Witelson, of the Michael G. De Groot School of Medicine at McMasters University who has done past studies of Einsteinís brain. In 1999, her work revealed that Einsteinís right parietal lobe had an extra fold, something that was either hardwired into his genes or happened while Einstein was still in the womb.

"Itís not just that itís bigger or smaller, itís that the actual pattern is different," Witselson said. "His anatomy is unique compared to every other photograph or drawing of a human brain that has ever been recorded."


Article from: news.yahoo.com






"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."
~Albert Einstein







Related Articles
College Dropout Becomes Mathematical Genius After Severe Beating
How mapping neurons could reveal how experiences affect mental wiring
Creative minds: the links between mental illness and creativity
Musical Harmony Hardwired in the Brain?
The Crack Team That Removes & Preserves Peopleís Brains Just Hours After They Die
In Search Of íthe Telepathy Centerí of the Brain
Can We Have Brain-to-Brain Communication?
Children of a Lesser God - Einsteinís Offspring
Einsteinís brain is now on display at the MŁtter Museum
Boy with higher IQ than Einstein develops his own theory of relativity
Einstein was right, you can be in two places at once
How do you cut Einsteinís Brain?
Albert Einsteinís brain - Wikipedia


Latest News from our Front Page

The War Against Whites Is Massively Incentivized
2014 08 28
The war on Whites is getting increasingly obvious, to the point that a very mainstream source, Congressman Mo Brooks, stated it and then refused to back down. This war is being carried on with a number of very potent weapons. At TOO we have stressed the moral onslaught which has inculcated guilt among legions of Whites for actions that have occurred ...
Study Offers Clues to Arctic Mystery: Paleo-Eskimosí Abrupt Extinction
2014 08 28
Seven hundred years ago, the Dorset people disappeared from the Arctic. The last of the Paleo-Eskimos, the Dorset culture had dominated eastern Canada and Greenland for centuries, hunting seal and walrus through holes in the ice and practicing shamanistic rituals with ornate carvings and masks. Then, they promptly ceased to exist. Modern archaeologists have scoured troves of Arctic artifacts, searching for ...
Lois Lernerís IRS Blackberry Destroyed After Federal Probe
2014 08 28
The IRS destroyed former Lois Lernerís BlackBerry after Congress started probing whether the IRS was targeting conservative groups. Lerner was director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS. A sworn declaration of Thomas Kane, a senior IRS lawyer, reveals that in June 2012, the IT department of the IRS wiped any sensitive or proprietary information from the BlackBerry in ...
White Marine Beaten by Black Mob in Michael Brown ĎRevengeí Attack
2014 08 28
Police refuse to treat incident as a hate crime A white Marine was left in an induced coma after a group of black men brutally beat him as part of a revenge attack in response to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident began at West Point Waffle House in Mississippi on Saturday morning at around 1am. With ...
Study: Exposure to Endocrine disrupting Chemicals Can Affect Future Generations
2014 08 28
Scientists have known that toxic effects of substances known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), found in both natural and human-made materials, can pass from one generation to the next. New research shows that females with an ancestral exposure to EDC may show especially adverse reactions to stress. According to a new study by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin ...
More News Ľ