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Einstein's brain more 'connected' than other folks'

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© iStockphoto.com / James Steidl © iStockphoto.com / James Steidl

MONDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- What made Albert Einstein such a genius? A new examination of Einstein's brain has revealed one of the likely reasons for his brilliance.

The left and right hemispheres of Einstein's brain were unusually well connected to each other, according to the findings published online recentlyin the journal Brain.

"This study, more than any other to date, really gets at the 'inside' of Einstein's brain," study co-author Dean Falk, an evolutionary anthropologist at Florida State University, said in a university news release. "It provides new information that helps make sense of what is known about the surface of Einstein's brain."

Study lead author Weiwei Men of East China Normal University developed a new brain analysis technique to conduct the study, believed to be the first to detail Einstein's corpus callosum, the brain's largest bundle of fibers, connecting the two hemispheres. For the study, Men used high-resolution photographs of Einstein's brain that had been published by Falk in 2012.

"This technique should be of interest to other researchers who study the brain's all-important internal connectivity," Falk said in the news release.

Men's technique reveals the varying thicknesses of sections of the corpus callosum along its length, where nerve fibers cross from one hemisphere to the other. These thicknesses indicate the number of nerves that cross in particular regions.

The researchers compared Einstein's brain with those of 15 elderly men and 52 younger men. Einstein had more extensive connections between certain parts of his brain's hemispheres than either the older or the younger men, the study found.

More information

The PBS show "Nova" has more about Einstein's brain.

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