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Who Stole Albert Einstein’s Brain

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What Happened To The Brain Of Einstein Afterwards

Einsteins Brain Was Stolen and Chopped Up Into Tiny Pieces…For Science?!

Harvey soon lost his job at the Princeton hospital and took the brain to Philadelphia. He carved the brain responsible for the equation E=mc2 into 240 pieces. The parts were preserved in celloidin- a hard and rubbery form of cellulose. He put the pieces into two jars and stored them in his basement.

Harvey travelled to different parts of the world carrying the parts of the brain with him.

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In the year 1985, Harvey and collaborators in California published the first study on Einstein’s brain. It claimed that it had an abnormal proportion of two types of cells, neurons and glia. The study was followed by five others, reporting additional differences in individual cells or in particular structures in Einstein’s brain.

However, the studies were controversial with Terence Hines, a professor of psychology at Pace University, branding them as bunk. He presented a poster at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society annual meeting outlining all of the ways in which each of the six studies was flawed.

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The Bizarre Posthumous Journey Of Einstein’s Brain

verifiedNora Gonzalez

Albert Einstein, touted as one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, died April 18, 1955, as a result of a fatal aneurysm, in Princeton, New Jersey. Despite Einsteins wishes to have his entire body cremated, the doctor who conducted his autopsy, Thomas Harvey, had other planshe kept the brain aside. After this was discovered by Einsteins son Hans Albert, Dr. Harvey convinced Hans Albert to allow him to keep the brain in order to investigate potential biological causes for Einsteins brilliance. Thus, a pathologist, with no particular neuroscience experience, came to be in possession of the highly coveted brain. This was just the beginning of the brains strange adventure.

Shortly after claiming Einsteins brain, Dr. Harvey lost his job at Princeton Hospital, where he had ostensibly intended to conduct his research. From Princeton, with Einsteins brain in tow, Harvey traveled to Philadelphia and around the Midwest, including Kansas and Missouri. Periodically, he would send or give sections of the brain to scientists to study, but for the most part the brain was kept hidden from the world in jars in his basement. However, despite repeated promises from Harvey, no studies were published on Einsteins brain until 1985, 30 years after Einsteins death, when a neuroscientist from UCLA, who had received sections from Harvey, published the first.

How Much Of Albert Einstein’s Brain Was Used

Thomas misquoted the brilliant American psychologist William James as saying that the average person specifically “develops only 10 percent of his latent mental ability.” In fact James had referred more vaguely to our “latent mental energy.” Others have claimed that Einstein attributed his intellectual giftedness to …

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How Much Did Einstein Use His Brain

Thomas misquoted the brilliant American psychologist William James as saying that the average person specifically develops only 10 percent of his latent mental ability. In fact James had referred more vaguely to our latent mental energy. Others have claimed that Einstein attributed his intellectual giftedness to

Thomas Harvey Stole Albert Einsteins Brain

Who Stole Einstein

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, and left an incomparable legacy, from knowing Charlie Chaplin to escaping Nazi Germany and revolutionizing physics.

Many scientists speculated that his brain might be physically different from the typical human mind because he was revered all around the world for his brilliance. So when he died of a ruptured aorta in Princeton Hospital at the age of 76, Thomas Harvey took his brain from his body right away.

Harvey had some great professional ambitions based on that brain, according to Carolyn Abraham, author of Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einsteins Brain.

Harvey not only stole Albert Einsteins brain, but also the physicists eyeballs, which he handed to Einsteins ophthalmologist.

On April 20, the rest of Einsteins body was burned in Trenton, New Jersey, and his son, Hans Albert Einstein, discovered Harveys actions. He eventually consented to research the brain, but only on the condition that the findings be published in prestigious scientific journals.

Harvey went on to record and photograph the brain in great detail. He reportedly weighed it at 1,230 grams, which was lighter than the average for guys his age. He then chopped the brain into 240 bits, photographing them and commissioning a painting of them.

Harveys obsession with Albert Einsteins brain, on the other hand, cost him not only his position at Princeton but also his medical license and family.

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What Happened To Einsteins Brain

Thomas Harvey, after distributing some of the pieces in his hands and examining some of them, must have come to mercy. He donated the last pieces he had to the pathology department at Princeton Hospital. Today, the last pieces of Einsteins brain are exhibited in the museum called The Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Again, it is carefully guarded so that a maniac does not come out and steal it.

one of the smartest people in the world Albert Einsteins brain stolen We told the story of this theft, which really happened, and we talked about how the secret behind this genius is still mysterious. You can share your thoughts on the story of Albert Einsteins brain being stolen in the comments.

How To Extract A Brain


So Thomas Harvey saw this opportunity. He said, This is one of the greatest minds in recorded history. And he was correct in assessing that. If you look at what Einstein did, long before the advent of computers, and he just did it on blackboards and paper, he figured out some of the fundamental questions of the universe. So he was very interested in Einsteins brain and he did a usual brain extraction like we do today. And for those of w who arent aware of how a brain is taken out, I will tell you that now. Basically, you take a scalpel and you start at the mastoid process, which is a little bump behind your ear. So if you feel behind your ear right now, youll feel a bump. Thats the mastoid process of the skull.



But with a brain extraction for close study, you have to be very careful. You do not want the saw to penetrate all the way through the bone, such that it cuts into the brain, because then that produces an artifact, its very messy. It kind of ruins some of the architecture. So he did this brain extraction and took it out, put it into formalin. And he actually injected the blood vessels, just like an embalmer injects blood vessels, he injected the blood vessels with formalin or formaldehyde. Formalin is a 10% solution of formaldehyde and the brain fixed then in formalin, because he was going to study this brain. Now, the weird part is, Einsteins family didnt know about this. They found out about this from the newspaper.

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Does The University Of Kansas Have A Piece Of Albert Einstein’s Brain

While we cannot find any department at the University of Kansas that has a piece of Albert Einstein’s brain, we did find that Thomas Harvey, the pathologist that stole Einstein’s brain lived in Wichita and Lawrence, Kansas for a time. For more information, check out this Wichita Eagle article about Harvey and the brain from 1993 or this article from NPR from 2005 on the issue. Thomas Harvey eventually donated the remainder of the brain to Princeton Hospital after keeping it in his possession for many decades. The Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has various slides of pieces of the brain on display. Learn more about the pieces on exhibit here.

The Phenomenal Brain Of Albert Einstein Vs Normal Brain

Why Harvey Stole Albert Einstein’s Brain?

Albert Einstein had an exceptional brain. It was different from an ordinary brain due to many reasons.

Things that make his brain stand out:

  • The average IQ of a normal person is 90-110. But, Einsteins IQ was 180-190.
  • Abnormal proportions of neurons and glial cells.
  • He had a 15% wider parietal lobe.
  • He lacked a cravis in his brain, which we know as the Sylvian Fissure.
  • The thin cerebral cortex of Einsteins brain.
  • The density of neurons in this thin part was much higher than normal.
  • His brain didnt show any significant sign of aging.
  • He lacked a substance called Lipofuscin. It is an autofluorescent brown-yellow pigment. It accumulates in the human body with age. Yet, at 76 years of age, his brain didnt have much of it.
  • Hopefully, there will be more research on this famous brain in the future.

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    The Strange Afterlife Of Einstein’s Brain

    Einstein’s death 60 years ago was just the start of a strange journey for the most prized part of his anatomy, his brain. Stored in jars and on slides, it is still inspiring awe and scholarly research.

    At 01:15 in the morning of 18 April 1955, Albert Einstein – theoretical physicist, peace campaigner and undisputed genius – mumbled a few words in German, took two breaths, and died. The nurse on duty at Princeton Hospital did not speak German and the meaning of Einstein’s final words was lost forever.

    Einstein’s cremation took place later that day in Trenton, New Jersey, but the following day his son, Hans Albert, learned that the body in the coffin had not been intact. A front-page article in the New York Times reported that “the brain that worked out the theory of relativity and made possible the development of nuclear fission” had been removed “for scientific study”.

    The pathologist who conducted the autopsy, Dr Thomas Harvey, had gone further than simply identifying the cause of death – a burst aorta. He had sawed open Einstein’s cranium and removed its celebrated contents.

    “He had some big professional hopes pinned on that brain,” says Carolyn Abraham, who met Harvey while researching her book Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain. “I think he had hoped to make a name for himself in medicine in a way that he had been unable to do. And then he comes to work one morning and finds Albert Einstein on his autopsy table.”

    The Tragic Story Of How Einsteins Brain Was Stolen And Wasnt Even Special

    My headline may be a bit misleading. Albert Einstein, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who gave the world the theory of relativity, E = mc2, and the law of the photoelectric effect, obviously had a special brain. So special that when he died in Princeton Hospital, on April 18, 1955, the pathologist on call, Thomas Harvey, stole it.

    Einstein didnt want his brain or body to be studied he didnt want to be worshipped. He had left behind specific instructions regarding his remains: cremate them, and scatter the ashes secretly in order to discourage idolaters, writes Brian Burrell in his 2005 book, Postcards from the Brain Museum.

    But Harvey took the brain anyway, without permission from Einstein or his family. When the fact came to light a few days later, Harvey managed to solicit a reluctant and retroactive blessing from Einsteins son, Hans Albert, with the now-familiar stipulation that any investigation would be conducted solely in the interest of science, Burrell writes.

    Harvey soon lost his job at the Princeton hospital and took the brain to Philadelphia, where it was carved into 240 pieces and preserved in celloidin, a hard and rubbery form of cellulose. He divvied up the pieces into two jars and stored them in his basement.

    Just when you think this story cant get any weirder, it does. As Burrell explains :

    But that premise is nonsense and the studies are bunk, at least according to Terence Hines, a professor of psychology at Pace University.

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    Was It Really That Different From The Average Mind

    The first investigation of Albert Einstein’s stolen brain, published in Experimental Neurology in 1985, indicated that it did indeed appear physically different from the average brain.

    The genius was said to have a higher-than-average number of glial cells, which keep the brain’s neurons oxygenated and therefore active.

    A further study published in 1996 by the University of Alabama at Birmingham claimed that these neurons were also more densely packed than typical, allowing for faster information processing.

    Further analysis of Harvey’s images three years later suggested that Einstein’s inferior parietal lobule was wider than typical, suggesting that he was a more visual thinker than others.

    In 2012, research stated that Einstein’s brain has an additional ridge in the mid-frontal lobe, which is connected with planning and remembering.

    However, some question this research, such as Pace University psychologist Terence Hines, who described them as “neuromythology.”

    You can’t take just one brain of someone who is different from everyone else and we pretty much all are and say, Ah-ha! he said strongly. ” I’ve discovered what makes T. Hines a stamp collector.

    Despite the fact that most of Einstein’s brain was returned to Princeton Hospital, the issue regarding its particular is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. However, other slides of the legendary organ were donated to medical organizations.

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    Theft Of Einstein’s Brain

    Albert Einstein

    In August, 1978, New Jersey Monthlyreporter Steven Levy published an article, “I Found Einstein’s Brain”, based on his interview with Dr. Harvey when Harvey was working in Wichita, Kansas. In 1988, Dr. Harvey retired and moved to Lawrence, Kansas. In 1996, Harvey moved from Weston, Missouri to Titusville in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. In the 1994 documentary Relics: Einstein’s Brain, Kinki University Professor Sugimoto Kenji asks Harvey for a piece of the brain, to which Harvey consents and slices a portion of the brain-stem. Footage shows Harvey segmenting and handing over to Sugimoto a portion. In 1998, Harvey delivered the remaining uncut portion of Einstein’s brain to Dr. Elliot Krauss, a pathologist at University Medical Center at Princeton. As and associates discovered, certain parts of Einstein’s brain were found to have a higher proportion of glial cells than the average male brain.

    In 2005, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Einstein’s death, the 92-year-old Harvey gave interviews regarding the history of the brain from his home in New Jersey.

    Harvey died at the University Medical Center at Princeton on April 5, 2007.

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    Stealing The Greatest Mind In The World

    The medics werent sure what was the exact cause of death, so they followed to perform an autopsy which was led by pathologist Thomas Harvey. Harvey was well aware of the wishes made by Einstein, but his fanatic mind didnt stop him from stealing Einsteins brain. Days later Harvey was questioned about the brain. That is when he went to Hans Albert to ask for his blessing to study the brain, all in the interest of science.

    Despite Hans Albert giving his blessing to Harvey, he was fired from his role as a pathologist from Princeton Hospital. Harvey took the brain to Philadelphia, where he started to analyze it in order to find the secret to Einsteins vast intelligence. The brain was carved into 240 pieces which were all preserved in a liquid called celloidin. The pieces were placed in two separate jars and left in the basement just like pickles.

    The reason he cut the brain into so many pieces was to share Einsteins brain with other researchers around the world that were as interested as him. As weird as it sounds, a part of Einsteins brain was sent around the world in a package as if it was a coveted object. Harveys wife threatened him that she will personally dispose of the brain as it just freaked her out. Author Burrell gives examples of accounts that show the strange places the brain had been taken or kept.

    Lets Get To Know Albert Einstein Briefly:

    Born on March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is a theoretical physicist who has done important work in the fields of physics and mathematics. We all have it We know it by the theory of relativity and the formula E=mc². Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955, after his work inspired the whole world and shaped todays scientific world. Death was not yet the end for Einsteins brain, winner of the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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    Murder Of Frederick Merrick

    Rulloff, Jarvis and Dexters next plan was the robbery of a dry goods store in Binghamton, New York in 1870, while the two live-in clerks, Frederick Merrick and Gilbert Burrows, slept upstairs. The trio burned chloroform in an attempt to ensure that the employees would sleep through the ordeal, but they awoke when Jarvis stumbled on something. Merrick first attempted to shoot Rulloff with a gun that he kept under his pillow, but it failed to discharge. After that, he grabbed a stool and threw it at the fleeing Rulloff.

    Meanwhile, Burrows grabbed Dexter and proceeded to beat him. When Merrick joined Burrows, Jarvis and Rulloff came to Dexters rescue, and Rulloff fired a warning shot in to the air. Burrows stopped, but Merrick threw himself at Jarvis. Rulloff fired a second warning shot, and when Merrick would not desist, he pointed the gun at Merricks head and fired, killing him instantly.

    In their disorderly escape, the robbers missed the boat that was to ferry them across the Chenango River, and instead attempted to swim across the river. The exhausted Jarvis and Dexter were unable to keep up with the current and drowned. Their bodies were recovered in the morning. Rulloff made it across, but he left behind a couple of leather boots with a distinctive depression where his missing toes would have been.

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