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What Einstein taught us about intellect and brain function

Half a century after the death of Albert Einstein, scientists continue to unlock the secrets of his genius and shed new light on how the brain functions. NPR reports:

But no one tried harder than a pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who lost his job and his reputation in a quest to unlock the secrets of Einstein's genius. Harvey never found the answer. But through an unlikely sequence of events, his search helped transform our understanding of how the brain works.

How that happened is a bizarre story that involves a dead genius, a stolen brain, a rogue scientist and a crazy idea that turned out not to be so crazy.

The story goes on to discuss experiments on the famous gray matter performed by neuroscientists and how Stanford researcher Stephen J. Smith, PhD, published a 1990 study, not involving brain tissue belonging to Einstein, in Science that was pivotal in advancing scientists' understanding of the late genius's intellect and the role astrocytes play in cognitive processes. It's worth a read.

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