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Science

Probe of Einstein's Brain Reveals Clues To His Genius 195

Posted by timothy
from the so-it-wasn't-the-pipe-after-all dept.
sciencehabit writes "Smart, successful, and well-connected: a good description of Albert Einstein and his brain. The father of relativity theory didn't live to see modern brain imaging techniques, but after his death his brain was sliced into sections and photographed. Now, scientists have used those cross-sectional photos to reveal a larger-than-average corpus callosum — the bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain's two hemispheres. The thickness of Einstein's corpus callosum was greater than the average, and more nerve fibers connected key regions such as the two sides of the prefrontal cortex, which are responsible for complex thought and decision-making. Combined with previous evidence that parts of the physicist's brain were unusually large and intricately folded, the researchers suggest that this feature helps account for his extraordinary gifts." Abstract (full article is paywalled) at the journal Brain.
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Probe of Einstein's Brain Reveals Clues To His Genius

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  • Einstein Quotes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SternisheFan (2529412) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @12:36PM (#45044971)
    Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

    "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."

    "I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."

    "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

    "The only real valuable thing is intuition."

    "A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."

    "I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."

    "God is subtle but he is not malicious."

    "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."

    "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

    "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."

    "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."

    "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

    "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."

    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

    "Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it."

    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

    "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

    "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."

    "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."

    "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."

    "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."

    "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

    "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."

    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

    "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."

    "Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity."

    "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

    "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

    "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

    "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

    "In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep."

    "The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."

    "Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves."

    "Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"

    "No, this trick won't work...How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?"

    "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."

  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @01:09PM (#45045201)

    " his brain had unusual features which may have provided certain advantages"

    Or... his life revolved around unusual studies which caused his brain to respond by developing the corpos callosum?

  • by Crazy Taco (1083423) on Saturday October 05, 2013 @08:14PM (#45047887)

    Yet I would argue true geniuses need the support structure the Steve Jobs/Edisons/etc can provide to realize their potential.

    I think this is right on, but it extends much farther than just "true geniuses". Personally, I'm one of those highly technical people who are really good at the nitty gritty details of making technology work, but as I've learned more about myself over the years I've realized that I need to make sure I stay in the technical arena, rather than going into management or some of the purely "visionary" roles, because the high level of technical talent I have doesn't mean I have a commensurately high level of visionary talent. I've learned that a good idea for me is to seek out the visionary types in my organization and try to get myself onto their projects, because they can supply overall direction and I can provide a really good technical implementation. I'm not trying to compare myself to Woz, Einstein, Tesla, or these other geniuses, because I'm not nearly that smart, but I do think the principle extends to me an many others. There is an almost symbiotic relationship that can be had when technical people realize they need visionaries, and visionaries respect and treat the technical people well. I think it applies to much of industry, not just super geniuses and super visionaries.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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