Instant Guide

Uncovered: Physical evidence proving Albert Einstein's brain was superior to yours

Recently rediscovered photographs of the late genius' brain reveal a few extraordinary physical differences

His brain is legendary: When TIME named Albert Einstein its Person of the Century in 1999, the magazine called the shaggy-haired physicist a "genius among geniuses," whose understanding of the universe represented the "embodiment of pure intellect."  

What few people know, however, is that within a few hours of his death in 1955, Einstein's brain was removed from his skull and photographed from different angles before it was sectioned into 240 blocks — all to advance the sciences he loved so dearly. Many of the photographs, however, were lost or misplaced over the decades. Now analysis of 14 recently resurfaced photos reveals what we've suspected all along: Einstein's physical brain, says Doyle Rice at USA Today, "was better than yours." Though not at first glance.

According to the study from Florida State University, the pre-dissected brain doesn't initially appear all that different from the average person's. "Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein's brain was normal," writes study author Dean Falk, an evolutionary anthropologist from Florida State University, "the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal, and occipital cortices were extraordinary." 

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain in charge of abstract thinking and thought analysis — responsible for digesting sensory data before making any decisions. As such, it's also the most "strongly implicated" as a sign of intelligence. Analysis of these photographs revealed that Einstein's prefrontal cortex is more complex and possessed a far greater surface area than most people's, which may explain some of his "remarkable cognitive abilities," said Falk.

Sources: TIME, TG Daily, USA Today, WiseGeek

Recommended

Colin Powell's death is not proof of vaccine failure
Colin Powell.
Picture of Jeva LangeJeva Lange

Colin Powell's death is not proof of vaccine failure

Right message, wrong messenger?
Bernie Sanders.
Picture of Joel MathisJoel Mathis

Right message, wrong messenger?

78 arrested for blocking traffic in last day of D.C. fossil-fuel protests
D.C. fossil fuel protest
Climate Activism

78 arrested for blocking traffic in last day of D.C. fossil-fuel protests

Joe Manchin reportedly killed Biden clean-energy proposal
Joe Manchin
Reconcile This!

Joe Manchin reportedly killed Biden clean-energy proposal

Most Popular

Halloween Kills scores best pandemic debut for a horror film
Halloween Kills
purely and simply evil

Halloween Kills scores best pandemic debut for a horror film

The American 'Great Resignation' by the numbers
Help wanted sign
Help Wanted

The American 'Great Resignation' by the numbers

Madonna makes Jimmy Fallon sweat, remove coat in 'disturbed' interview
Jimmy Fallon and Madonna
'Life is not just about interviewing kitties'

Madonna makes Jimmy Fallon sweat, remove coat in 'disturbed' interview