Poster B148, Sunday, April 6, 8:00 - 10:00 am
Neuromythology of Einstein's Brain
Terence Hines1; 1Pace University
The idea that Einstein's brain was different from normal brains in both cellular structure and external morphology is based on studies that are chock-a-block with statistical, methodological and conceptual errors. These will be explored in detail in this poster. Diamond et al. (1985) claimed that Einstein's brain had more glial cells than control brains. This study used inappropriate control brains, incorrect statistics and probably selectively reported positive results. Anderson and Harvey (1996) found greater neuron density, but not more neurons, in one small area of Einstein's right frontal lobe. Studies of the patterns of sulci and gyri in Einstein's brain found differences found differences between Einstein's brain and control brains in the details of the gyral patterns. Falk et al. (2012) performed an excruciatingly detailed analysis that did,in fact, demonstrate that the gyral pattern of Einstein's brain wasn't the same as that of control brains. But who would have expected anything else? Human brains differ. The differences that were found were hardly ones that would suggest superior intelligence, although the authors desperately tried to spin their results to make it appear so. Similar problems exist for the recent claim by Men et al. (2013) that Einstein's corpus callosum was different from that of control brains.
Topic Area: THINKING: Problem solving