When a rare genius like Albert Einstein comes along, scientists naturally wonder if he had something special between his ears. The latest study of Einstein's brain concludes that certain parts of it were indeed very unusual and might explain how he was able to go where no physicist had gone before when he devised the theory of relativity and other groundbreaking insights. The findings also suggest that Einstein's famed love of music was reflected in the anatomy of his brain.
When Einstein died in 1955 at Princeton Hospital in New Jersey, his brain was removed by a local pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who preserved, photographed, and measured it. A colleague of Harvey's cut most of the brain into 240 blocks and mounted them on microscope slides. From time to time, he sent the slides to various researchers, although few publications resulted. Harvey, who moved around the United States several times in the course of his career, kept the jar containing what remained of the brain in cardboard box. Finally, in 1998, Harvey–who died in 2007–gave the jar to the University Medical Center of Princeton, where it remains today.