Sunday, October 13, 2013

Einstein's Brain

Previous studies of Einstein’s brain have revealed that specific portions were unusually large and intricately folded. The parietal lobes, for example, had unusually grooves and ridges. A region known to be linked to musical talent was highly developed in Einstein's brain (he played piano and violin.) And his prefrontal cortex—linked to planning, focused attention, and perseverance in the face of challenges—is also greatly expanded. ScienceShot recently released an article entitled “Einstein’s Secret? A Well-Connected Brain.” It reported that the thickness of Einstein’s corpus callosum, the larges band of connecting fibers in the brain, was greater than average as compared to a control group of both elderly and young subjects. The authors posit that in Einstein’s brain, more nerve fibers connected key regions such as the two sides of the prefrontal cortex, which are responsible for complex thought and decision-making. Combined with previous evidence that parts of the physicist’s brain were unusually large and intricately folded, the researchers suggest that this feature helps account for his extraordinary gifts. A cutaway photo of his brain is included in the article.

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