There Ain’t ‘Alf Some Clever Bastards – Part Five
November 29, 2012
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Without question, Albert Einstein deserves his place in the pantheon of clever bastards. After all, this self-taught physicist developed the theory of general relativity.
When he died in 1955, aged 76, his brain was removed and Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who autopsied him, sliced his brain into numerous thin slices for examination. What became apparent when comparing Einstein’s grey matter with that of lesser mortals was that the frontal lobes, associated with abstract thought and planning, had unusually elaborate folds. It is thought that the more folds there are creates extra surface area for mental processing, allowing more connections between brain cells and making it easier to draw on distant cells for cognitive reasoning. The same unusual folding patterns were observed in his occipital lobes which are used for visual processing. The left and right parietal lobes which are used for spatial tasks and mathematical reasoning are also unusually asymmetrical.
His brain was of average size – weighing 1,230 grams – but in comparison with all other brains investigated, only Einstein’s had these unusual folds and grooves.
Truly, he was a cut above the rest of us.
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