Skip to comments.Heady Theories on the Contours of Einstein's Genius
Posted on 05/22/2009 8:57:24 AM PDT by BGHater
Seeking signs of genius, a researcher recently reconstructed the shape of Albert Einstein's brain with techniques normally used to analyze fossils. This mold of thought, she believes, reveals the imprint of a rare intelligence that transformed our understanding of space, time and energy.
By studying photographs of Einstein's brain taken at his death in 1955, paleoanthropologist Dean Falk at Florida State University identified a dozen subtle variations in its surface that may have heightened his ability to see physics in a new way. Her research suggests how the brain shaped the inner life of the 20th century's most famous mind.
"Einstein's brain is really unusual," says Dr. Falk. "On the surface at least, it looks different than others. It's suggestive."
Like every human brain, Einstein's was an island universe of thought.
The insights that revolutionized physics were the product of 25 billion neurons linked by billions of connections -- an essence of intellect so densely compacted that a thimble full of brain matter normally holds 50 million neurons and a trillion synapses. His ideas and impressions raced through a maze of 93,000 miles of insulated nerve fibers at 200 miles per hour.
No one knows exactly how intelligence and originality arises from the action of so many special cells. Researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., recently discovered that patterns of electrical brain activity, as measured by electroencephalograms, usually are different among creative thinkers than among more methodical problem solvers.
An expert on ancient neural evolution, Dr. Falk is accustomed to studying brains that no longer exist. She reviewed 25 autopsy photographs.
The arrow above points to the Sylvian fissure in Einstein's brain.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
I remember being told by my science teacher in the sixth grade that they had at one point weighted Einstein’s brain and it suppsedly weighed more than a normal one.
Mine weighs a lot too. But we had lead paint all over the house.
The English author and physicist C. P. Snow recalled driving to Nassau Point in 1937 to visit the 58-year-old Albert Einstein. ``What did surprise me was his physique,'' Snow wrote in Commentary magazine in 1967. ``He had come in from sailing and was wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. It was a massive body, very heavily muscled: he was running to fat around the midriff and in the upper arms, rather like a footballer in middle age, but he was still an unusually strong man.
According to the article, Einstein’s brain weight about 10% less than average.
I’ve read that Einstein was very popular with the ladies, as was Feynman, another great physicist.
Those big brains will get the ladies every time. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
In other words, it’s not the size of the brain, it’s how long it can think.