Three Studies Of The Relationship Amongst Twins Between Physiological Connectedness And Attachment

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Göran Brusewitz 3*, David Luke 1, Adrian Parker & Annekatrin Puhle
1Department of Psychology and Counselling, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 
3Independent researcher 

Introduction: Parapsychological research into distant interactions between individuals seems to indicate that the bond between sender and receiver is important. Despite a wealth of reports concerning what appear to be remarkable examples of  synchronous and telepathic experiences occurring between strongly bonded pairs of twins, there are very few empirical studies of exceptional experiences with twins (Playfair, 2002). To date, no study  could be found that explored these phenomena in relation to the degree of attachment. A review by Parker (2010) found eight attempts to study (mainly telepathy) amongst twins under controlled conditions. Among these early studies, it is clear that only a few of their results seem to confirm the presence of psi amongst twins, and that most of the studies show significant shortcomings, such as the lack of selecting for those twins reporting paranormal experiences with each other. Moreover, many studies used only a few pairs of twins.  

The present three studies, being part of a thesis at the University of Greenwich, were designed to investigate the ostensible relationship between telepathy and attachment between twins. By applying the concept of attachment from developmental psychology, these studies in parapsychology are an attempt to explore the degree of attachment between twins as a potential dependent variable relating to their apparent telepathic connection. From an initial pool of a little more than one hundred pairs of twins, thirteen pairs of identical and one pair of non-identical twins were selected on the basis of their responses to the Exceptional Experiences Questionnaire (documenting their exceptional experiences, which included the twins sensing each other’s pain, accident, injury or mood, even on a distance) and on the availability of both twins to take part in the study. 

The twins were separated by several doors and walls, or, in the second and third study, by several floors. The test procedure required each of them to alternate in the role of sender in which they were exposed to a shock or surprise stimuli and in the role of receiver in which they were physiologically monitored for their electrodermal responses (EDR). Senders were presented with altogether five stimuli, one stimulus during each of the five trials per twin run. For each trial, the stimulus was presented during a 30 second period randomly chosen from eight possible such epochs within a four-minute trial. With a further 30 seconds added to establish baselines before and after each trial, this meant each trial would last five minutes. Graphs from 91 of the useable trials belonging to 14 pairs of twins, some participating twice, were analyzed by the lead researcher (GB), who was blind to the time epochs in which the stimuli had been presented by the researcher working with the senders (AP).

The task for the lead researcher was to identify a peak of the graph in the receiver’s reaction that might approximately correspond to the midpoint in the period that the stimulus had been presented to the sender. In such cases, it could be taken as an indication of a physiological synchronous expression of connectedness between the twins. In 18 trials out of 91, these identifications corresponded to the actual exposure period for the shock or surprise stimulus – constituting so-called “hits”, compared to the MCE = 11.4 and was significant, p = .043 (one-tailed). The attachment data that twins contributed via the EEQ questionnaire indicated that all the twins in the current study seemed to experience similar high levels of attachment. This consistency in strong and close relationships meant of course there was a lack of variance as concerns the hypothesis that attachment would predict the scores.

The results of the Experiences in Close Relationships – Revised (ECR-R) indicated that all the twins had very low scores on attachment-related anxiety and avoidance in their relationships. The profiles of twins having many hits in the telepathy experiment as regards any aspects of attachment were not significantly different from those of the others. The data provides justification for a major study using this methodology with selected pairs of twins. Some major improvements in the design were suggested, one of them being also monitoring of the electrodermal activity for the sender, giving possibilities to give a precise record of the timing and the effect of the shock stimuli.     

The thesis is possible to get from the author,  

Parker, A. (2010). A ganzfeld study using identical twins, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research74, 899, 118-126. 

Playfair, G. L. (2002/2009). Twin telepathy – the psychic connection. London: Vega. 


Göran Brusewitz
Göran Brusewitz

President of the Swedish SPR for more than 30 years, local host at the PA Convention 2006 in Stockholm, author to “Conscious Connections. About parapsychology and holistic biology” 2010, Program Chair for the European SSE conference 2016 outside Stockholm, PhD 2020 at the University of Greenwich on “Attachment and exceptional experiences amongst twins”.

Three Studies Of The Relationship Amongst Twins Between Physiological Connectedness And Attachment


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