Feeds

EINSTEIN'S BRAIN had unusual lobes and cortex

Newly-uncovered photos also reveal 'large knob' in frontal lobe

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Albert Einstein's brain seems to have been packed full of unusually-configured parts that could explain his unusual intelligence, according to a new study by US scholars.

The revelations about the boffin's brain come from the the journal Brain, which carries a paper titled The cerebral cortex of Albert Einstein: a description and preliminary analysis of unpublished photographs. In the paper, authors Dean Falk, Frederick E. Lepore and Adrianne Noe explain they have enjoyed access to 14 photographs of Einstein's brain that were previously unknown. The photographs, captured on 35mm film by the pathologist who examined Einstein after his death, spent years in the bowels of various institutions before coming to light in 2010.

Analysis of the snaps, the authors suggest, reveal “an extraordinary prefrontal cortex, which may have contributed to the neurological substrates for some of his remarkable cognitive abilities.” The trio also assert the great physicist's “primary somatosensory and motor cortices near the regions that typically represent face and tongue are greatly expanded in the left hemisphere” and that his “parietal lobes are also unusual and may have provided some of the neurological underpinnings for his visuospatial and mathematical skills, as others have hypothesized.

The paper also suggests the frontal lobe of the boffin's brain included “a large ‘knob’-shaped fold (the ‘knob’, known to surgeons as the sign of omega) in the right hemisphere that represents enlarged motor representation for the left hand. This is an unusual feature that is seen in some long-time right-handed violinists.” Einstein was such a violinist.

One of the newly-uncovered photos of Albert Einstein's brain

One of the newly-uncovered photos of Albert Einstein's brain

Overall, the paper ranks Einstein's brain as of normal size and weight and says that the features noted above hint at enabling unusual levels of cognition in the scientist's brain. But the paper also points out that neuroscience is a long way from knowing about brain configurations that make us good at particular pursuits. It therefore concludes with a hope “that future research on comparative primate neuroanatomy, paleoneurology and functional neuroanatomy will provide insight about some of the unusually convoluted parts of Einstein’s brain.” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.