With an N of 1, it’s extremely difficult to calculate the statistical variance — the likelihood that, for example, Einstein’s low neuron-to-glia ratio is real and not just a fluke of that particular region and those particular methods.
Even if the statistics were sound, you’d still have the problem of attributing skills and behaviors to anatomy.
Based on old photographs that had been taken of Einstein’s brain before it was cut up, the researchers claimed that Einstein had an abnormal folding pattern in part of his parietal lobe, a region that has been linked to mathematical ability.
Just when you think this story can’t get any weirder, it does.
As Burrell explains (emphasis mine): After [Harvey’s] wife threatened to dispose of the brain, he returned to retrieve it and took it with him to the Midwest.
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.
He then relocated to Lawrence, Kansas, took an assembly-line job in a plastic-extrusion factory, moved into a second-floor apartment next to a gas station, and befriended a neighbor, the beat poet William Burroughs.