Einstein’s Brain

Nov 27 2012 @ 2:20pm

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Not bigger but way more complex than most:

"In each lobe," including the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes, "there are regions that are exceptionally complicated in their convolutions," Falk says. As for the enlarged regions linked to the face and tongue, Falk thinks that this might relate to Einstein’s famous quote that his thinking was often "muscular" rather than done in words.

Although this comment is usually interpreted as a metaphor for his subjective experiences as he thought about the universe, "it may be that he used his motor cortex in extraordinary ways" connected to abstract conceptualization, Falk says … "Einstein programmed his own brain," Falk says, adding that when the field of physics was ripe for new insights, "he had the right brain in the right place at the right time."

This is not some kind of ace in the nature versus nurture argument. Both were involved (Einstein's parents were devoted and his musical capacity was highly developed). But what you begin to realize, or appreciate more deeply in this study, is the most powerful thing to have impacted planet earth since the last asteroid: the physical incarnation of human intelligence. And we are only beginning to understand its potential. My favorite comment from ScienceNOW:

Obliviously Einstein was exercising the triceps of his mind.

And all I want at this stage in my life is to obliviously exercize the triceps on my arm.

(Illustration from the Washington Post)