Unlocking Einstein's brain

Posted Nov 20, 2012 by Tim Sandle
Some previously unseen photographs of Albert Einstein’s brain have been published in a science paper. The photographs suggest several unusual topographic features that may explain why the physicist was so smart.
Albert Einstein s  God Letter  is up for auction.
Albert Einstein's "God Letter" is up for auction.
The photographs are available for a limited time on-line in a free-to-view version of the science paper (in the journal Brain). Be quick, however, as the free-to-view access is limited.
The authors of the paper obtained 14 photographs of Einstein's brain and carefully studied its shape and features and compared these to the brains of other people. The investigators noticed patterns rarely seen in other brains, such as a larger and more intricately folded prefrontal cortex. In a press release, the lead scientist, Dean Falk from Florida State University states:
"These [brain features] may have provided the neurological underpinnings for some of his visuospatial and mathematical abilities."
Whether more can be read into these findings remains to be seen; they are interesting nonetheless.
According to The Scientist, shortly after Albert Einstein died in 1955 the pathologist Thomas Harvey removed and preserved his brain. Since then it has been widely studied (to such an extent that most of the brain has been lost over the years). Most of the serving parts are on display at the US Army's National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland.