When Albert Einstein died in 1955, his brain was removed, weighed and measured, preserved in formalin, photographed, and sectioned for microscopic study. Although we often think of technologic breakthroughs as coming from corporations or industry sectors, ideas come from individual brains. Human brain tissue is the source of the invention, conceptualization, and implementation of new technologies. Einstein was the preeminent genius of his era and one of the greatest scientists of all time, on par with Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton (whose brains were not preserved). What can we learn from the anatomy of Einstein’s brain that might lead to the creation of more new ideas and advanced technologies? In 1955, the neurosciences were in their infancy. In 1949 Moniz was awarded the Nobel Prize for the frontal lobotomy in which white matter connections of the brain are severed with an “ice pick” instrument, a procedure now considered barbaric by modern medicine.
Neuroscience has advanced by leaps and bounds since then, and recent insights have been made on the uniqueness of Albert Einstein’s brain.