The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein's brain were unusually well connected to each other, according to a paper, which then determines that may have contributed to his brilliance.
The study says it is the first to detail Einstein's corpus callosum, the brain's largest bundle of fibers that connects the two cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication. Lead author Weiwei Men of East China Normal University's Department of Physics measured and color-coded the varying thicknesses of subdivisions of the corpus callosum along its length, where nerves cross from one side of the brain to the other, using high-resolution photographs (from 2012) of the inside surfaces of the two halves of Einstein's brain.
These thicknesses indicate the number of nerves that cross and therefore how "connected" the two sides of the brain are in particular regions, which facilitate different functions depending on where the fibers cross along the length. For example, movement of the hands is represented toward the front and mental arithmetic along the back.
Credit:doi: 10.1093/brain/awt252. Link: Kelly Servick, ScienceShot: Einstein's Secret? A Well-Connected Brain, Science
They then Einstein's measurements with those of two samples — one of 15 elderly men and one of 52 men Einstein's age in 1905. During his so-called "miracle year" at 26 years old, Einstein published four articles that contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed the world's views about space, time, mass and energy. The research team's findings show that Einstein had more extensive connections between certain parts of his cerebral hemispheres compared to both younger and older control groups.
Correlation causation miracle.
Or not. Imaging studies are heavily criticized because there are no standards for interpretation - if you take a high-level view, you can find a correlation for almost anything. In reality, brains won't look much alike in numerous ways - your brain just became different from another reader's even though you read the same words in this sentence.The article is written by physicists, an anthropologist and a pediatrician, so use caution screening your next mate for an enlarged corpus callosum in hopes to give birth to a super-genius.
Citation: Weiwei Men, Dean Falk, Tao Sun, Weibo Chen, Jianqi Li, Dazhi Yin, Lili Zang and Mingxia Fan, 'The corpus callosum of Albert Einstein‘s brain: another clue to his high intelligence?', Brain September 24, 2013 doi: 10.1093/brain/awt252