The question of Einstein’s brain and the source of his genius was presented on Channel 4, Monday Jan 17. Typical of more and more pop science programmes this was as much about style as substance, but this was another reflection of a growing obsession with how the brain works, generated by technical developments such as magnetic resonance (responsible for the neuroscientific explanations of economic behaviour of the earlier post.)

Einstein spoke late as an infant, suggesting, according to one contributor, that he had autistic tendences. Another proposition was that he was synaesthetic, a capacity where two senses are intertwined like colour and number–a fact confirmed by his own observation. As another post discussed, synaesthesia is believed to be at the root of our power with language through the use of metaphor.

That genius, or even the high levels of creativity we might more regularly meet in day to day life, may have observable sources in such behavioural phenomenon should give managers and investors pause. Such behaviours frequently don’t find easy expression in business life as they are seen to get in the way, even though their presence may be essential to long-term success.

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