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Preservation of Einstein's Brain


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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein's_brain

 

 

Preservation of Einstein's Brain

A photograph from 1955 of Einstein's brain.

A photograph from 1955 of Einstein's brain.

 

Einstein's brain was removed, weighed and preserved by Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Einstein. He claimed he hoped that cytoarchitectonics would reveal useful information. [1] Harvey injected 10% formalin through the internal carotid arteries and afterwards suspended the intact brain in 10% formalin. Harvey photographed the brain from many angles. He then dissected it into roughly 240 blocks (each about 10cm3) and encased the segments in a plastic-like material called celloidin. [2][3] Harvey may also have removed Einstein's eyes, and given them to Henry Abrams. [4] He was apparently fired from his position at Princeton Hospital shortly thereafter for refusing to relinquish the organs.

 

[edit] Disputed consent

 

Whether Einstein's brain was removed and preserved after his death in 1955 with his permission is a matter of dispute. Ronald Clark's 1971 biography of Einstein said that "he had insisted that his brain should be used for research and that he be cremated", but more recent research has suggested that this may not be true at all, and that the brain was removed and preserved without either Einstein's immediate permission or the permission of his close relatives (Einstein, Walter Isaacson). Hans Albert Einstein, the physicist’s son, agreed to the removal after the event but insisted that his father’s brain should be used only for scientific research to be published in scientific journals of high standing.[5]

 

Einstein's brain was "rediscovered" in 1978. The brain sections had been preserved in alcohol in 2 large mason jars within a cider box for over 20 years, by Dr Harvey, who was then working in Wichita, Kansas.[6] It aroused considerable popular and scientific attention.

 

[edit] The brains of other geniuses

 

Preserving the brains of geniuses was not a new phenomenon—another famous brain to be preserved and discussed in a similar manner was that of the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss almost a hundred years earlier. His brain was studied by Rudolf Wagner who found its weight to be 1,492 grams and the cerebral area equal to 219,588 square centimeters. Also found were highly developed convolutions, which was suggested as the explanation of his genius (Dunnington, 1927). Other famous brains that were removed and studied include that of Vladimir Lenin and the Native American, Ishi. The brain of Edward H. Rulloff, philologist and "criminal of superior intelligence," was removed after his death in 1871; in 1972, it was still the second largest brain on record (New York Times, Nov. 7, 1972, p. 37).

 

[edit] Scientific studies

The lateral sulcus (Sylvian fissure) in a normal brain. In Einstein's brain, this was truncated.

The lateral sulcus (Sylvian fissure) in a normal brain. In Einstein's brain, this was truncated.

 

 

[edit] Study finding part of Einstein's brain missing and another part 15% larger

 

However, in 1999, further analysis by a team at McMaster University in Ontario revealed that his parietal operculum region in the inferior frontal gyrus in the frontal lobe of the brain was vacant. Also absent was part of a bordering region called the lateral sulcus (Sylvian fissure). Researchers at McMaster University speculated that the vacancy may have enabled neurons in this part of his brain to communicate better. "This unusual brain anatomy…(missing part of the Sylvian fissure)… may explain why Einstein thought the way he did," said Professor Sandra Witelson who led the research published in The Lancet. It should be noted that this study was based on photographs of Einstein's brain made in 1955 by Dr. Harvey, and not direct examination of the brain, as implied by the caption of one of the photographs, inaccurately identifying it as a photograph from 1995. Einstein himself claimed that he thought through images rather than verbally. Professor Laurie Hall of Cambridge University commenting on the study, said, "To say there is a definite link is one bridge too far, at the moment. So far the case isn't proven. But magnetic resonance and other new technologies are allowing us to start to probe those very questions." [7]

 

Scientists are currently interested in the possibility that physical differences in brain structure could determine different abilities. [8] [9]One famous part of the operculum is Broca's area which plays an important role in speech production (Einstein was speculated to have Asperger's Syndrome). To compensate, the inferior parietal lobe was 15 percent wider than normal. [10] The inferior parietal region is responsible for mathematical thought, visuospatial cognition, and imagery of movement.

 

[edit] Study finding more glial cells in Einstein's brain

 

In the 1980s, University of California, Berkeley professor Marion C. Diamond persuaded Thomas Harvey to give her samples of Einstein's brain. She compared the ratio of glial cells in Einstein's brain with that in the preserved brains of 11 men. (Glial cells provide support and nutrition in the brain, form myelin, and participate in signal transmission.) Dr. Diamond's laboratory made thin sections of Einstein's brain, each 6 micrometers thick. They then used a microscope to count the cells. Einstein's brain had more glial cells relative to neurons in all areas studied, but only in the left inferior parietal area was the difference statistically significant. This area is part of the association cortex, regions of the brain responsible for incorporating and synthesizing information from multiple other brain regions. Diamond admits a limitation in her study is that she had only one Einstein to compare with 11 normal men. S. S. Kantha of the Osaka BioScience Institute in Japan criticized Diamond's study, as did Terence Hines of Pace University. [11]

 

Diamond and Joseph Altman (then of Purdue University) had already both discovered that rats with enriched environments developed more glial cells for each neuron. Rats in impoverished environments had fewer glial cells relative for each neuron. [12]

 

WEIRD

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HolyGrenadeFrenzy

user posted image

 

They preserved this lab......Why not at least part of his brain?

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don't tell me this is the first time you guys heard of this!!

 

they did that to research what made Einstien that smart...I think they finally concluded saying that he had more of some specific brain cell which is created more and more when you think.

 

So what Einstien did was think more than we do... mercie_blink.gif

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Anyone can edit wikipedia.

Don't take stuff to seriously there

Well if there's adequate citation, I'd think it'd be ok.

4XEtraA.jpg

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Anyone can edit wikipedia.

Don't take stuff to seriously there

Oh, f*ck, so Einstein's brains were never preserved? It's a hoax article?! NOOO!

 

Tip: Learn how encyclopedias work, boy.

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