Is there something special about Albert Einstein’s brain that made him surpass an average person’s intelligence? In today’s article, Dr. Curtis Cripe will discuss the famed scientist’s brain in a way that neuroscience can explain why he is the genius that the world recognizes.
Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955, at the age of 76. He was suffering from internal bleeding caused by an abdominal aortic aneurysm a day prior. During the autopsy, a scientist named Thomas Stoltz Harvey took the brain without the consent of Einstein’s family. Dr. Curtis Cripe notes that Harvey may have committed this in the hope that future studies in neuroscience would discover what made Einstein so intelligent.
Harvey kept Einstein’s brain for 40 years. He dissected it into several pieces, keeping some for his own studies while distributing others to leading pathologists for the same purpose. He eluded detection by keeping sections of the brain in a cider keg inside a beer cooler, and it was only in the 1990s when he returned what remained of Einstein’s brain to Princeton Hospital. This eventually paved the way for neuroscientists to study it.
Studies have noted anomalies in Einstein’s brain, such as an enlarged Sylvian fissure and extra glial cells and neurons. In 1999, scientists from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, revealed that the parietal operculum region somewhere in the frontal lobe in Einstein’s brain was vacant. Also absent was the lateral sulcus. Scientists speculated that these vacancies might have enabled neurons in that part of Einstein’s brain to communicate better, which probably contributed to his intelligence.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is head of research and development at the NTL Group, specializing in developing brain-based technology for healing and repairing neurological dysfunctions. He has published two peer-reviewed papers and wrote two book chapters on neurotherapy and neuroengineering. For more blogs like this, click here.