Discovered: Computers predict the emotions abstract art will provoke; new photographs of Einstein's brain reveal a master mind; kids are smoking too much hookah; old spear found.
Computers consider abstract art. Confused by Rothko? Perplexed by Pollock? Confounded by Kandinsky? Here, let this computer tell you how to feel about abstract art. Scientists led by Nicu Sebe from the University of Trento have developed a machine that analysed 500 abstract paintings and 100 viewer responses to these images, gleaning what emotions are stirred by certain formal effects. [New Scientist]
A beautiful mind? Albert Einstein's intellect certainly dwarfed most if not all of his peers', but how much of that was attributable to the physical structure of his brain? Florida State University researcher Dean Falk and Frederick Lepore of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School took 14 newly unearthed photographs of Einstein's brain as a reason to try answering that question. When Einstein died in 1955, his son gave pathologists permission to extract his brain. Now, old photographs have come to light, allowing Falk and Lepore to conclude that while Einstein's brain was no larger than normal, it did contain extra folds not found in many contemporaries. "In each lobe, there are regions that are exceptionally complicated in their convolutions," says Falk. [Science Now]