Saturday, May 23, 2009
I watched Riddles of the Dead on National Geographic this morning and stumbled upon a documentary on Albert Einstein's brain. (you know E=mc^2, also known as the theory of relativity)
In the show, it was stated that Einstein passed away in Princeton Hospital in New York.
And after his autopsy, his brain was kept and preserved by Dr. Thomas Harvey (the one doing the autopsy at the time).
However, his brain was removed without consent in hopes of finding he reason why he was so smart.(Normally the organs are put back into the body after an autopsy)
He kept it with him for more than 50 years albeit only he few pieces as he cut Einstein's brain into 240 pieces(more or less).
After some research and modern computer graphics, it was confirmed that there was something different about his brain.
1)There were significantly more glial cells in his brain especially the part use for calculating and imagination just by analysing it under a microscope.
2)With the aid of photos taken prior to cutting, a 3D model was made and a region of the brain above the ears was about 15% larger than that of a normal human's.
3)There were also guesses that point Einstein to be autistic but there is no proof as you cannot see whether a person is autistic by looking at his brain(literally).
The main reason for this documentary was to figure whether other people can be future Einsteins. You watch it here.
You can further read about this here although slightly different: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein%27s_brain#Study_finding_more_glial_cells_in_Einstein.27s_brain