Twin Telepathy: Fact or Fiction?

Monozygotic twins, also known as identical twins, evolve from one zygote that splits into two embryos. One common myth about identical twins is that they have the same DNA because they stem from the same embryo. While research proves that identical twins do not share identical DNA (or fingerprints, for that matter), no evidence exists to substantiate whether or not twins have a special mental connection. Is it possible for identical twins to possess a form of telepathy or extrasensory perception (ESP)?


Fredric W. H. Myers, founder of the Society for Psychical Research, created the word “telepathy” in 1882. Telepathy, also known as “thought transference,” is defined as “the alleged communication of thought from one person to another by means other than the physical senses.”[1]


Empirical Data

While no scientific evidence supports the existence of twin telepathy, many personal anecdotes claim to demonstrate the phenomenon. Dr. Nancy L. Segal, a preeminent twin researcher explains, “There simply isn’t any empirical proof that twins have ESP or that twin telepathy exists. It can’t be substantiated in a scientific environment.”[2]

The following account describes one possible occurrence of twin telepathy:

“Paula Wombwell, a teacher and mother of identical twin girls, recounts an unexplained event when they were about four years old. One twin, Heather, was with Paula in the classroom while the other twin, Catherine, was in the gymnasium on another floor. Suddenly, Paula heard Catherine crying downstairs, and Heather declared that it was because a certain person had just run over her with a scooter. There was no way Heather could have seen what happened. Sure enough, when Paula asked Catherine about what had happened she confirmed that that certain person had run over her with a scooter.”[3]