The neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein’s brain died on July 25 in Oakland, California. Ninety-year-old Marian Diamond was also the first to show the brain’s anatomy can change with experience.
More about her:
- Marian was a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley
- She rose to fame in 1984 when she examined preserved slices of Einstein’s brain and found it had more support cells than any average person’s brain.
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- Her groundbreaking research on rats found that the brain can improve with enrichment. She also found that an impoverished environment can lower the capacity to learn.
- She shattered the old paradigm of understanding the brain as a static and unchangeable entity that simply degenerated as we age.
- Her subsequent research found that the brain can continue to develop at any age, that male and female brains are structured differently and that brain stimulation can improve the immune system.
- She walked into her anatomy classes carrying a flowered hat box. It is said that the box contained a preserved human brain.
“If you’re going to live life, you’ve got to be all in,” – Diamond
- She encouraged mental and physical activities that enrich the brain. Marian continued to research and teach till 2014, when she retired at the age of 87.
George Brooks, a well-known professor of integrative biology and her colleague at UC Berkeley and commented on her works. He said, “Her research demonstrated the impact of enrichment on brain development – a simple but powerful new understanding that has literally changed the world, from how we think about ourselves to how we raise our children.”
“If you’re going to live life, you’ve got to be all in,” Diamond said in the 2016 documentary film “My Love Affair with the Brain: The Life and Science of Dr. Marian Diamond.”