Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
NOVA ScienceNOW

New Photos of Einstein’s Brain

  • By Terri Randall
  • Posted 11.15.12
  • NOVA scienceNOW

Researchers who've studied Einstein's brain have long known that parts of his parietal lobe—a part of the brain involved in spatial imagination—were unusually large. But now, a collection of 14 photographs missing since 1955 have revealed that Einstein's right frontal lobe has four ridges instead of the standard-issue three, giving him more brain power. And, in an unusual twist, it turns out that the host of NOVA scienceNOW, David Pogue, shares this same trait.

Close
Launch Video Running Time: 3:49

Credits

How Smart Can We Get?

HOST
David Pogue
WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Terri Randall

Sian Beilock Profile

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Joshua Seftel
PRODUCED BY
Joshua Seftel & Tobey List

NOVA scienceNOW

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julia Cort
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Stephanie Mills
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
INTERSTITIALS PRODUCED BY
Brian Edgerton
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY
Christopher Rife
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Kate Becker
HOW SMART CAN WE GET? EDITED BY
Jedd Ehrmann
SIAN BEILOCK PROFILE EDITED BY
Marc Vives
PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
Jill Landaker Grunes
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
Jake Hubbard
Catherine Bright
ARCHIVAL RESEARCH
Minna Kane
Adam Talaid
NY LINE PRODUCER
Michael Reichman
CAMERA
Joseph Friedman
Austin De Besche
SOUND RECORDISTS
Charlie Macarone
Jim Gallup
Brian Lucas
2ND CAMERA
Jake Hubbard
ANIMATION
David Margolies
Hero 4 Hire Creative
ADDITIONAL MUSIC
Scorekeeper's Music
ONLINE EDITOR AND COLORIST
Evan Anthony
AUDIO MIX
Bill Cavanaugh
ASSISTANT EDITORS
Rob Chapman
Steve Benjamin
PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
Brendan McNamara
Dan Puzio
Laura Klein
POST PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Olaf Steel
THOMAS HARVEY PORTRAYED BY
David Marantz
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Fred Lepore
Bettmann/Corbis
Underwood & Underwood/Corbis
Corbis
AFP/Getty Images
iStockphoto/Lightguard
iStockphoto/pop_jop
CLIPAREA/Pond5
William Seeley, Unravelling Bolero, Brain 2008 Vol. 131 1 39-49, by permission of Oxford University Press
Associated Press
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Jack & Beverly Wilgus

-------------------------------------------------

The images of Einstein's brain are published in Falk, Lepore & Noe: 2012, The cerebral cortex of Albert Einstein: a description and preliminary analysis of unpublished photographs, Brain (doi #doi:10.1093/brain/aws295) and are reproduced here with permission from the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, MD.

-------------------------------------------------

SPECIAL THANKS
Alex Adams
Robert Adams
Craig Andrews
Rob Berlin
Elmhurst Hospital Center
Joy Faber and Con Edison
John Giambrone
Dolores Gonzalez
Scott Kaufman
Roi Cohen Kadosh
Vitali Khomitch
Henry Landau
Robert Landau
Gary Lennox
Junior Lopez
Stephanie Magdziak
Mind Research Network
Thomas Murray
NYU Langone Medical Center
Jason Padgett
Robert Plomin
Ricco/Maresca Gallery
Jon Sarkin
Melissa Sy
Sharon K. Tison
Eleanor Weber
Michael Weisand
Dolores Williams
Ron Yeo
Brenda Coffield
Dario Maestripieri
John Phillips
Nicole Power
Jennifer Rhind
University of Chicago
Hamilton Spectator
The Lancet
Society for Neuroscience
Math Counts
ADVISORS
Sangeeta Bhatia
Charles Jennings
Richard Lifton
Neil Shubin
Rudy Tanzi
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR
Spencer Gentry
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
MARKETING AND PUBLICITY
Karen Laverty
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Victoria Louie
NOVA ADMINISTRATOR
Kristen Sommerhalter
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Scott Kardel, Esq. Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Rachel Connolly
DIGITAL PROJECTS MANAGER
Kristine Allington
DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
POST PRODUCTION
Patrick Carey
POST PRODUCTION EDITOR
Rebecca Nieto
POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
COMPLIANCE MANAGER
Linzy Emery
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCERS
Pamela Rosenstein
David Condon
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCER
Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

NOVA scienceNOW is a trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation

NOVA scienceNOW is produced for WGBH/Boston

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0917517. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

© 2012 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

Image credit:

(Einstein's brain)
The images of Einstein's brain are published in Falk, Lepore & Noe (2012, The cerebral cortex of Albert Einstein: a description and preliminary analysis of unpublished photographs, Brain (doi #doi:10.1093/brain/aws295) and are reproduced here with permission from the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, MD.

Related Links

  • How Smart Can We Get?

    See inside Einstein's brain, learn how to boost your memory, meet people who became savants after an injury, and more.

  • Mapping the Brain

    Use some of the same imaging techniques neuroscientists use—from MRIs to PET scans—to see inside the human brain.

  • Poring Over Einstein's Brain

    From newly discovered photos, scientists have created the most detailed description to date of Einstein's brain.

  • Einstein Revealed

    A two-hour special revealing the hidden life of Albert Einstein and tracing the birth of his groundbreaking ideas