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Twins are a mirror to each other – and a window into the mysteries of genetics

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Doppelgangers.

In the ongoing debate over nature versus nature, twin studies have given a glimpse into the role of genes in behavior and decisions. Psychologist Nancy Segal shares stories of twins raised apart.

About Nancy Segal

Nancy Segal has been seeing double since 1982. As a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the University of Minnesota, she worked on the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. A fraternal twin herself, Segal founded the Twin Studies Center at CSU Fullerton, where she is also a professor of Psychology. Her work illustrates that by using twins as "living laboratories" we can sort out which aspects of twins' lives are influenced by genetic inheritance, and in turn begin to "lay bare the basis of human behavior."

Her most recent book is Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Fio Geiran and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour and James Delahoussaye. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Fiona Geiran
Sanaz Meshkinpour
James Delahoussaye