How Geniuses Work

More on Geniuses and the Brain

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A 1999 analysis of Albert Einstein's brain also seems to support this theory. Einstein's brain was slightly smaller than the average brain. However, parts of his parietal lobe were wider than most people's brains. The larger areas in Einstein's brain are related to mathematics and spatial reasoning. Einstein's parietal lobe was also nearly missing a fissure found in most people's brains. Analysts theorized that the absence of the fissure meant that different regions of his brain could communicate better.

A 2006 paper in the journal "Nature" theorized that the way the brain develops is more important than the size of the brain itself. A person's cerebral cortex gets thicker during childhood and thinner during adolescence. According to the study, the brains of children with higher IQs thickened faster than those of other children. Studies also suggest that, to some extent, children inherit intelligence from their parents. Some researchers theorize that this is because the physical structure of the brain can be an inherited trait. In addition, the process of becoming really good at something both requires and encourages your brain to wire itself to handle that particular task better.

Even though scientists are not sure exactly how or why it happens, it's clear that the human brain plays a part in determining a person's intelligence. But what's the difference between genius and intelligence? And what makes one person more intelligent than another? We'll look at how intelligence relates to genius next.