Best of both worlds

I’ve just read an incredible article on conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan who have parts of the brain in common and may be sharing thoughts and perceptions.

Adding to the conundrum, of course, are their linked brains, and the mysterious hints of what passes between them. The family regularly sees evidence of it. The way their heads are joined, they have markedly different fields of view. One child will look at a toy or a cup. The other can reach across and grab it, even though her own eyes couldn’t possibly see its location.

“They share thoughts, too,” says Louise. “Nobody will be saying anything,” adds Simms, “and Tati will just pipe up and say, ‘Stop that!’ And she’ll smack her sister.” While their verbal development is delayed, it continues to get better. Their sentences are two or three words at most so far, and their enunciation is at first difficult to understand. Both the family, and researchers, anxiously await the children’s explanation for what they are experiencing.

It’s probably worth noting that while rare, Tatiana and Krista are by no means the only conjoined twins who share a brain.

Perhaps most famous are Lori and George Schappell. If you’re not aware of the Schappells, click the link as they have led amazing lives and would be inspiring individuals even if they were they not conjoined.

This makes me wonder why the issue of shared perceptions has never been tested before.

From a scientific point of view, these studies would be important because parents often swear that their child has ‘special abilities’ which mysteriously seem to vanish when formally tested – as any child psychologist will tell you.

But perhaps it’s simply the case that none of the twins have ever been keen to take part in studies on the effect of having a shared brain.

Link to Macleans article ‘A piece of their mind’.


  1. Posted November 10, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Really fascinating story of both of the unique children and whole family taking care of them. Thanks for posting that!

  2. Posted November 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    In my conversation with Lori and George Schappell they told me that it’s often misunderstood that they share brains. They underwent scanning that showed that their brains are actually 2 separate brains … not shared. The Hogan twins are unique in the way they are conjoined with the shared thalmus.

  3. Posted November 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    It depends on the part of the brain that is linked, and of course on the willingness of the participants.

    Also – I wonder how the LDS Church will deal with Lori not being a member… will they let George into the Temple since Lori is attached?

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Thanks to Mind Hacks, I found MacLean’s article on a pair of conjoined twins who see through each other’s eyes and share silent thoughts. […]

  2. […] covered an earlier article that touched on whether the two young children had access to each others’ […]

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