The Hidden Conversation: A Possible Explanation for Twins and Telepathy

Identicals can take synchronicity to another level– but how exactly?

Imagine for a moment that you are a twin (if you aren’t, of course): your very first sensations and awareness in the womb are quickly followed by the realization that you are not alone. You have a buddy, a mirror, a cohort and in the case of identical twins, a doppelganger. Your development is a tandem project, not a solo flight.

Recent understanding about the way that humans grow and adapt shows that we can’t do it without connection. A child that receives no physical contact will die, and a child that receives no verbal stimulation will not learn to communicate past a very rudimentary stage. Just like food, water, and sleep, engaging with other humans is critical to our survival; without it, our brains founder.

In a brilliant book entitled A General Theory of Love, authors Thomas LewisFari Amini, and Richard Lannon write:

The brain’s ancient emotional architecture is not a bothersome animal encumbrance. Instead, it is the key to our lives. We live immersed in unseen forces and silent messages that shape our destinies. As individuals and as a culture, our chance for happiness depends in our ability to decipher a hidden world that revolves ­– invisibly, improbably, inexorably– around love.1

In other words, love, the act of communing with another in an ongoing way, is the overarching force that shapes our brains, regulates our biorhythms, and determines the quality of our lives.

To give a more concrete example, these authors used the dog tied up outside the grocery store. Several people pass by the dog and pet him, but his eyes are steadily watching that door. These passersby might be nice, smell good, and offer treats, but they did not play with this dog as a puppy, they did not imprint on that dog the way the owner did. This process is called imprinting and it is the cornerstone of our makeup1.

Humans have this same limbic brain that requires imprinting and interaction to grow properly. Our bodies are in conversation, and as we grow old together, we can see why, when couples are together for decades, often it doesn’t take one of us long to follow the other in shuffling off the mortal coil. We need that multi-layered conversation like we need air and water and earth. Our nervous systems, it turns out, are not closed loop systems. They can be more accurately describes as open loops designed for giving and receiving1.

So applying this basic understanding (though we are only really now getting just how intrinsically linked we can become as individual organisms), it stands to reason that twins who’ve spent virtually most of their time together throughout the first half of their lives, might develop what we can unscientifically call a telepathic bond.

Twins are often endowed with this supernatural characteristic, and science still doesn’t have a way to explain it. The evidence that twins can communicate or sense each other across long distances is both anecdotal and multitudinous.

There are famous tales of a twin inexplicably knowing his or her double was in some sort of danger, or reading each other’s thoughts. A famous TV show put one twin in an isolation booth with a polygraph and when the other twin was exposed to ice water, the isolated twin had an immediate spike on the polygraph, as though he had been shocked by the ice himself2. Researchers still don’t understand this type of serendipity, but psychologists note that intuition is a much more powerful and accurate predictor then we give it credit for, particularly when it involves danger.

Is it possible that twins have developed such a refined nervous system conversation that they just have slightly more sensitive antenna than the rest of us? Could they be picking up on signals we have just learned to ignore? Scientists have suggested that because identical twins are so close genetically, that what appears as extrasensory is more like the stimulus presenting spontaneously in both sets of DNA2.

So let’s put those two theories together for fun: the first being that identical twins are virtually starting off with the same raw material with which to begin interpreting the world, and the second being that human bodies in general are always trading information that far exceeds talking. It makes sense that twins are capable of what is referred to in paranormal circles as ESP, but really it’s simply a kind of heightened or as of yet undetectable exchange of important sensory information. A double loop.

While we know so much more than we did 10 years ago, the science has yet to reveal the mechanics of what is happening when one twin gets startled and that other twin’s body reacts simultaneously some distance away. However, when neurologists and psychologists understand what is happening and why, twins may be the key to a new form of communication that no longer requires a cell phone.




  1. Thomas Lewis, Thomas, Amini, Fari, and Lannon, Richard

A General Theory of Love 2001 Random House, New York, NY



About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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