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C. Comparing the Brain Processes of Identical Twins

Narrator: This is Science Today. In principle, identical twins have identical genes and identical features, but do their brains function identically? As part of the debate over the genetic versus environmental impacts on our lives, University of California, Berkeley, molecular and cell biologist Malcolm Zaretsky is planning a study that will compare the functional MRI brain scans of identical twins to see just how closely two minds can think alike.

Zaretsky: Basically we want to know whether their brains are functionally similar. The first question is to see how functionally similar identical twins are as compared to fraternal twins.

Narrator: In the study, Zaretsky will give pairs of twins the same physical task to do while their brain processes are recorded for comparison by functional MRI.

Zaretsky:The first starting point would simply be a baseline to see how functionally similar the responses of the twins are. And if that turns out to have some positive result, we might go further and see how they respond to each other when one communicates to the other.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.