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Sunday, October 13, 2013
Einstein's brain a wonder of connectedness
Information provided by Nina F., in Florida
Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein had a brain that was not only bigger in many regions, but better connected than the brains of most people, a new study has found. (The Magnes Press)
======================== By Melissa Healy
This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.
October 10, 2013
Albert Einstein had a colossal corpus callosum. And when it comes to this particular piece of neural real estate, it's pretty clear that size matters.
Chances are, that brawny bundle of white matter cleaving the Swiss physicist's brain from front to back is part of what made his mind so phenomenally creative. The corpus callosum carries electrical signals between the brain's right hemisphere and its left. Stretching nearly the full length of the brain from behind the forehead to the nape of the neck, the corpus callosum is the dense network of neural fibers that make brain regions with very different functions work together.
When the corpus callosum works well, the human brain is a marvel of social, spatial and verbal reasoning. When it malfunctions, as it appears to do in autism, fetal alcohol syndrome and certain genetic disorders, as well as after traumatic brain injury, the effect on cognition can be disastrous.