Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins

Article


Martini, M., Bufalari, Ilaria, Stazi, Maria Antonietta and Aglioti, Salvatore Maria 2015. Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins. PLOS ONE. 10 (4), p. e0120900.
AuthorsMartini, M., Bufalari, Ilaria, Stazi, Maria Antonietta and Aglioti, Salvatore Maria
Abstract

Despite the increasing interest in twin studies and the stunning amount of research on face recognition, the ability of adult identical twins to discriminate their own faces from those of their co-twins has been scarcely investigated. One’s own face is the most distinctive feature of the bodily self, and people typically show a clear advantage in recognizing their own face
even more than other very familiar identities. Given the very high level of resemblance of their faces, monozygotic twins represent a unique model for exploring self-face processing.
Herein we examined the ability of monozygotic twins to distinguish their own face from the face of their co-twin and of a highly familiar individual. Results show that twins equally recognize their own face and their twin’s face. This lack of self-face advantage was negatively predicted by how much they felt physically similar to their co-twin and by their anxious or avoidant attachment style. We speculate that in monozygotic twins, the visual representation of the self-face overlaps with that of the co-twin. Thus, to distinguish the self from the co-twin, monozygotic twins have to rely much more than control participants on the multisensory integration processes upon which the sense of bodily self is based. Moreover, in keeping with the notion that attachment style influences perception of self and significant others, we propose that the observed self/co-twin confusion may depend upon insecure attachment.

JournalPLOS ONE
Journal citation10 (4), p. e0120900
ISSN1932-6203
Year2015
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Publisher's version
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120900
Publication dates
Print08 Apr 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Apr 2015
Accepted27 Jan 2015
FunderMinistero della Salute
Seventh Framework Programme
Ministero della Salute
Copyright information© 2015 Martini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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