How Was Einstein's Brain Different ?

How Was Einstein's Brain Different ?
Published On: 02-Dec-2023

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We all know that Einstein was a genius. So much so that his brain would work more than a thousand scientists. Things which we never thought of, let alone understand, Einstein worked on those things and made it easy for the whole world.

Albert Einstein was a physicist who published the theory of special relativity, E=mc², and formulated the photoelectric laws, leaving the world surprised. Therefore, he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Seeing his extraordinary thinking and understanding power, people believe that Einstein had an extraordinary brain, which was quite different from an ordinary human. Einstein too knew this, and therefore he didn't want his body to be researched upon after his demise. Rather, he had instructed his body to be cremated.

But the same thing happened that Einstein was afraid of. On April 13, 1955, when Einstein died in Princeton Hospital, the doctor came to perform the autopsy, stole Einstein's brain secretly because he was curious to know what's inside the brain of this genius.

The doctor who stole Einstein's brain was Dr. Thomas Harvey, who was more interested in studying his brain than facing the consequences. When Princeton Hospital found out about this incident, they fired him. But Dr. Harvey was successful in persuading Hans Albert to give him permission to research his father's brain and let the world know about it. 

From that day, a long journey started for that brain. Dr. Harvey was a pathologist who knew only about post-mortems, and that's why he believed he would be able to research this genius's brain. But the situation was that Dr. Harvey lost his job at Princeton Hospital and also his designation as a pathologist. 

Dr. Harvey took Einstein's brain to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he took a lot of photos of the brain and cut them into 240 small pieces. Preserving every piece in separate jars, he hid all of them in his basement, leading to arguments with his wife, who threatened to throw the brain outside, ultimately resulting in divorce. 

Dr. Harvey went to Wichita, Kansas, with the brain, where he started working as a medical supervisor. In his free time, he tried to study Einstein's brain. However, even after many years, Dr. Harvey couldn't do any solid research on Einstein's brain. Instead, his medical license was canceled, and he had to start working in a plastics factory.

At that time, he made a good decision to send different pieces of the brain to the best neurologists in the world for detailed research, which he did. Thirty years after the brain was stolen, in 1985, a study was published on Einstein's brain. For the next 28 years, many neurologists published several studies on this genius's brain. 

In these studies, it was found that Einstein's brain was quite different from the ordinary human brain, with the biggest difference found in the Corpus callosum part. The human brain is divided into two parts, and the Corpus callosum connects both halves. Einstein's Corpus callosum was larger than that of ordinary humans, indicating a strong connection between his left and right brain. 

Apart from the difference in the Corpus callosum, Einstein's brain's pattern was also quite different from others, and researchers believe that this was the reason for a good neuron flow. Good flow of neurons means that he had great power for mathematical calculations. Einstein had the power of solving complex mathematical problems in his head without using pen and paper.

According to a research paper, another reason for having a high number of neurons was that when Einstein's brain was weighed, it was 1230 grams, whereas it is 1400 grams for normal human beings. Researchers believe that his brain's lining was quite thin, which allowed it to contain more neurons.

But the biggest question was whether Einstein was born with such a special brain or if there were changes afterward. After researching, it was found that when Einstein was born, he started speaking after the age of 5, whereas other children started speaking at the age of 2 or 3.

Even after he started speaking, he didn't like to speak much and remained lost in his own thoughts. He had less memorizing power and found it difficult to memorize simple multiplication tables. Instead, he excelled in processing math and numbers in logical ways, rather than memorizing them. In school, although he failed in other subjects, he excelled in mathematics and science.

When Albert Einstein was 12 years old, a family teacher left his geometry book in Einstein's house. Surprisingly, Einstein read that book in one day and cleared his geometric concepts. He became a master of integral and differential calculus at the age of 14. His grip on math and science was so strong that professors would become nervous when he raised his hand to ask questions, as his questions were often difficult for even teachers to understand.

From a very young age, Einstein wanted to encapsulate the laws of the universe in a small equation, and this became his life's mission. At the age of 26, Einstein published four research papers that astonished the world, leading to him being awarded a PhD degree and the Nobel Prize for his outstanding contributions to humanity. Without Einstein's theses, science would be incomplete. 

Many doctors and scientists came to the conclusion that Einstein's brain became special after his birth, as he developed his brain from a young age while seeking answers to his questions. Today, Einstein's brain is kept in America's The Mutter Museum, preserved with great care in microscopic slides.


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