Is that me or my twin? Lack of self-face recognition advantage in identical twins

Matteo Martini, Ilaria Bufalari, Maria Antonietta Stazi, Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0120900
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 2015

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Monozygotic Twins
Face recognition
Processing
Aptitude
Facial Recognition
Confusion
Twin Studies
self-perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Martini, M., Bufalari, I., Stazi, M. A., & Aglioti, S. M. (2015). Is that me or my twin? Lack of self-face recognition advantage in identical twins. PLoS One, 10(4), [e0120900]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120900

Is that me or my twin? Lack of self-face recognition advantage in identical twins. / Martini, Matteo; Bufalari, Ilaria; Stazi, Maria Antonietta; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 4, e0120900, 08.04.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martini, Matteo ; Bufalari, Ilaria ; Stazi, Maria Antonietta ; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria. / Is that me or my twin? Lack of self-face recognition advantage in identical twins. In: PLoS One. 2015 ; Vol. 10, No. 4.
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