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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Albert Einstein had a big brain...

Canadian researchers think they have discovered how Einstein managed to be so smart. It seems key parts of his brain were significantly bigger than average.

When the great master mind died in 1955, aged 76, his brain was removed and preserved, but no-one described its anatomy.

Einstein had a big brain

In 1999 a team from McMaster University in Canada have shown that the genius's intellect may have stemmed from extensive development of a structure on both sides of the brain, called the inferior parietal region.

Highly-developed tissue in this region meant his brain was around 15 per cent wider than the brains of the 85 men and women of average intelligence with which they compared it, the team found.

Since the inferior parietal region plays an important role in mathematical thought and the processing of visual and spatial information, this may explain why Einstein thought the way he did.

"Einstein's own description of his scientific thinking was that words did not seem to play a role," said the head researcher Professor Sandra Witelson. "Instead he saw more or less clear images of a visual kind."

While the idea that differing mental abilities could be correlated with brain size was once out of favour, interest has been renewed with the advent of new technologies like magnetic resonance imaging, which allow scientists to "see" inside a living brain.

There was now some tantalising evidence that brain volume might be correlated with IQ, the scientists said, adding that further research was needed to confirm it.

But the size of inferior parietal region was not the only feature that set Einstein's brain apart. The team also found it lacked a groove that normally runs through the structure.

They speculate that the absence of the groove may have allowed more nerve cells in the area to establish connections with each other more easily and therefore work better as a functional network.

Albert Einstein Marijuana Quote"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."
- Albert Einstein quote on Hemp

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