Feeds

EINSTEIN'S BRAIN had unusual lobes and cortex

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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Brain, which carries a paper titled The cerebral cortex of Albert Einstein: a description and preliminary analysis of unpublished photographs.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
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.