They’ve taken Albert Einstein‘s brain out for another look.
Scientists writing for the Oxford University journal Brain have dug up the post-mortem photos of Einstein’s brain to see how it might have been different from any other old brain.
They have to use photographs because the brain itself was cubed (really!) into 240 blocks, many of which were scattered all over by crazy doctor Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who performed the autopsy and then kept the brain.
“Currently the largest collection of celloidin embedded brain blocks (180 out of the original 240) is at The University Medical Centre at Princeton… With the exception of a few scattered blocks of tissue in Ontario, California, Alabama, Argentina, Japan, Hawaii and Philadelphia, the location(s) of the remaining portions of Einstein’s brain are unknown.”
But we do have Dr. Harvey to thank for the photos, which the current scientists examined to see what they could see.
And what did they see?
“Einstein’s brain has an extraordinary prefrontal cortex, which may have contributed to the neurological substrates for some of his remarkable cognitive abilities. The primary somatosensory and motor cortices near the regions that typically represent face and tongue are greatly expanded in the left hemisphere. Einstein’s parietal lobes are also unusual and may have provided some of the neurological underpinnings for his visuospatial and mathematical skills, as others have hypothesized.”