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."
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 Aeon of Horus is Ending and the Elites are Nervous as their Icons are Dying
2014 04 18
I predict there is going to be a huge resurgence of interest in European indigenous spiritual traditions from Norse to Celtic/Gaelic to Slavic and so on. Millions of Europeans are going to realise that we are the victims of Christianity and New Age garbage. Their bastardised Kabbalah, the psychic force used by Crowley and the elites to cement his Aeon ...
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
2014 04 18
Contrary to popular belief, Easter does not represent the "historical" crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In reality, the gospel tale reflects the annual "crossification" of the sun through the vernal equinox (Spring), at which time the sun is "resurrected," as the day begins to become longer than the night.
Rather than being a "Christian" holiday, Easter celebrations date back ...
Man-Made Blood Might Be Used in Transfusions by 2016
2014 04 18
Researchers in the U.K. have created the first man-made red blood cells of high enough quality to be introduced into the human body
The premise of the HBO show and book series True Blood revolves around a technological breakthrough: scientists figure out how to synthesize artificial human blood, which, as an ample new source of non-human food, allows vampires to "come ...
The Trials of the Cherokee Were Reflected In Their Skulls
2014 04 18
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors Ė from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War Ė led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people.
The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics.
Our Fears May Be Shaped by Ancestral Trauma
2014 04 18
Last December, an unsettling Nature Neuroscience study found that mice who were taught to associate the smell of cherry blossoms with pain produced offspring who feared the smell of cherry blossoms, even if they had never been exposed to it before. We knew that the process was epigeneticóthat it was not hard-wired in the permanent genetic structure of the mouseóbut ...
|More News Ľ |