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Yes, Albert Einstein Did Have More Brains

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The brain teaser of the century may have been solved: Why was Albert Einstein such a genius? Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario believe they have found the answer. Examining preserved portions of the legendary physicist's brain, they uncovered a region, known as the inferior parietal lobe, that in Einsteinís case is significantly larger than the same area in people of normal intelligence. The discovery was made possible when Dr. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who had the Einstein familyís permission to keep and study the brain, sent samples to McMasterís top neuroscience team.

When Harvey initially weighed and measured Einsteinís brain, he found it to be no bigger than that of an ordinary person. "This elevated the source of Einsteinís genius into a big mystery," says TIME senior science writer Michael Lemonick. But the latest study shows that the brain had at least one enlarged area, "the very part which scientists believe is responsible for mathematical and spatial reasoning," says Lemonick. Moreover, the McMaster team found that a gap normally present within this region is absent in Einsteinís brain. "That suggests to the scientists," says Lemonick, "that Einsteinís brain cells may have been able to make more connections with each other, again contributing to his genius." Though intriguing, the latest findings do not definitively settle the secret of Einsteinís genius -- the brains of other geniuses, for one thing, would need to be studied. But the discovery, to be published Saturday in the medical journal The Lancet, is sure to help stimulate new avenues of study as to how the brain works.

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