Image of the Day: Einstein's normal brain

Albert Einstein died in 1955. He'd asked to be cremated, and most of him was, but his brain was removed first so that it could be studied to try to figure out what exactly it was that made him such a genius. The picture above shows Einstein's actual brain shortly after it was removed from his brainbox.

Neuroscientists got a chance to poke and prod Einstein's brain, examining it on every level, from structural to microscopic. Over the years, there have been many different claims about how Einstein's brain was better than all of our brains in one way or another, but a recently published summary paper suggests that most or all of those claims are probably bunk.

As it turns out, Einstein's brain is about the same size and same shape as your average brain is, with about the same structure and same proportion of different types of cells. This is one of those good news bad news things. The bad news is that there's nothing that we can point to about any one brain that makes it a genius brain. And the good news is that it also means that there's some potential for genius in just about everyone's brain, and you don't need to have some specific physical thing going on to take advantage of it.

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