Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Twin studies can be an invaluable tool for scientists who are interested in studying whether aspects of human behavior are influenced by genes or environment (ie learned). Generally, this means tracking down adult identical twins who happen to have been separated at birth, getting their consent, and enrolling them in a study. Psychiatrist Peter Neubauer took things to a new level when he initiated a program that split up adopted twins at birth and then followed the differences and similarities that emerged during their lifetimes. Apparently the results of the study will be sealed in a library at Yale until 2066, however one pair of these twins has since found out about the study and they speak about the experience in the video below. Neubauer discussed the general topic of genetics and behavior in a 1996 book, Nature's Thumbprint: The New Genetics of Personality, which I haven't read but you can find here.