Feeds

EINSTEIN'S BRAIN had unusual lobes and cortex

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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Brain, which carries a paper titled The cerebral cortex of Albert Einstein: a description and preliminary analysis of unpublished photographs.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.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.