Sibling brain rivalry - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sibling brain rivalry

Waterloo (KWWL) - Brothers and sisters may talk alike, walk alike, and even look alike, but does that mean that they think alike?

A new study takes a look at how siblings thing and solve problems.

Loren and Adara Lowery are twins, but mom says that's where the similarities end.

"I have one who's very outgoing, very rambunctious. And another who's very laid back," says Juliet Lowery.

Loren's right handed. Adara works with her left. Loren's reserved. Adara's clearly not! They're not identical, but experts say even identical twins are different. Scientists in the Netherlands scanned the brains of twins and other siblings doing math.

Though 80-percent of their brains worked alike, different parts "lit up" during certain tasks. Experts say it raises a lot of questions:

"Personality characteristics, being messy or neat or organized or a visual learner or auditory learner, we'd love to know the genetic underpinnings to those sorts of things. This study is just beginning to crack through that," says Dr. Marilyn C. Jones.

Another twin study by the University of Alabama last year found that even identical twins, who share the same genes, have slightly different DNA.

Bottom line, not everything's hereditary. For parents like Juliet Lowery, that means constantly reminding yourself, and others, that these children who look so much alike, aren't.

"Friends say 'she doesn't act the same.' I say that's because they're different. They were made different," says Lowery.

And apparently, so were their brains.


Online Producer: Maria Magner

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