The strange story of Albert Einstein's brain

Albert Einstein is considered one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century. We owe him in particular the general theory of relativity . After leaving his mark on the world, Einstein passed away on April 18, 1955 at the venerable age of 76. It was at Princeton Hospital in New Jersey (United States) that he breathed his last.

Immediately after his death, his remains were sent to the forensic department of this hospital to be autopsied by pathologist Thomas Stoltz Harvey. It was thanks to him that we learned that Albert Einstein had died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. However, Thomas Harvey did not just autopsy the engineer corps. Indeed, he took the opportunity to steal his brain. He performed this operation without permission from Einstein's family.

The Strange Story Of Albert Einsteins Brain
Pixabay credits

By doing this, Thomas Harvey went against Albert Einstein's wish. The latter had declared that he wanted "to be cremated, so that no one could idolize my bones." "

A lighter-than-average brain

Thomas Harvey tried to unravel the mystery of Einstein's genius. To do this, he began by weighing his brain. What he discovered confirmed the uniqueness of this great name in science.

In an average person, the brain weighs on average 1350 g. Albert Einstein's brain, on the other hand, weighs only 1230 g. He then proceeded to take a picture of it and dissect it thoroughly.

“The cerebral hemispheres were cut into approximately 240 10 cc blocks, the location of which was noted in the photographs. Then the blocks were dipped in celloidin and histological sections were made, ”he explained.

Read also: The little-known story of Edouard Einstein

Researchers have observed differences

Thomas Harvey donated parts of Einstein's brain to other researchers and he kept the remains. The observations made it possible to highlight many differences in his brain. Researchers at McMaster University noted that the convolutions of his cerebral cortex were more complex than average.

They also reported the presence of a large lateral groove. But the differences don't end there. According to them, the region of the parietal operculum in the inferior frontal gyrus of his brain was empty. His neurons also had more glial cells.

Read also: Einstein's letter from God at auction

After studying photographs of his brain, Dean Falk, an anthropologist at Florida State University, pointed out that “although the overall size and asymmetric shape of Einstein's brain is normal, the areas pre- frontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal, temporal and occipital corpora are extraordinary. "

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