Forty-?ve years after Albert Einstein’s death we still seek an explanation of his extraordinary gifts. Headlines have trumpeted that he was a “parietal genius,” or that his brain had more of a particular kind of cell, or that the key to his intellect lay in the unusual folds of his brain.
But wait, says clinical neurologist Frederick E. Lepore (who lives three blocks from Einstein’s house in Princeton), we may be indulging in a modern version of phrenology. He examines how far brain science has come in linking mental capabilities to speci?c brain areas, and how far it has to go. Our fascination with Einstein’s brain, says Lepore, reveals more about us—our assumptions about the brain and our reverence for genius—than about Einstein.