The brain of physicist Albert Einstein has been a subject of much research and speculation. It was removed within seven and a half hours of his death. The brain has attracted attention because of Einstein’s reputation for being one of the foremost geniuses of the 20th century, and apparent regularities or irregularities in the brain have been used to support various ideas about correlations in neuroanatomy with general or mathematical intelligence. Scientific studies have suggested that regions involved in speech and language are smaller, while regions involved with numerical and spatial processing are larger. Other studies have suggested an increased number of glial cells in Einstein’s brain.
Einstein’s autopsy was conducted in a lab at Princeton Hospital by pathologist Thomas Stoltz Harvey shortly after his death in 1955. Harvey removed and weighed the brain and then in a lab at the University of Pennsylvania, he dissected Einstein’s brain into several pieces; some of the pieces he kept to himself while others were given to leading pathologists. He claimed he hoped that cytoarchitectonics would reveal useful information. Harvey injected 11.4% formalin through the internal carotid arteries and afterwards suspended the intact brain in 10% formalin. Harvey photographed the brain from many angles. He then dissected it into about 240 blocks (each about 1 cm3) and encased the segments in a plastic-like material called collodion. Harvey also removed Einstein’s eyes, and gave them to Henry Abrams, Einstein’s eye doctor.
Whether or not Einstein’s brain was removed and preserved with his prior consent is a matter of dispute. Ronald Clark’s 1979 biography of Einstein said that “he had insisted that his brain should be used for research and that he be cremated”, but more recent research has suggested that this may not be true and that the brain was removed and preserved with the permission of neither Einstein nor his close relatives. Hans Albert Einstein, the physicist’s son, endorsed the removal after the event, but insisted that his father’s brain should be used only for research to be published in scientific journals of high standing.
In 1978, Einstein’s brain was “rediscovered” in Dr. Harvey’s possession by journalist Steven Levy. The brain sections had been preserved in alcohol in two large mason jars within a cider box for over 20 years. A minor media sensation ensued, with reporters camping out for days on Dr. Harvey’s lawn.
In 2010, Harvey’s heirs transferred all of his holdings constituting the remains of Einstein’s brain to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, including 14 photographs of the whole brain (which is now in fragments) never before revealed to the public.
Albert Einstein’s brain – Wiki Article
The Secrets of Einstein’s Brain