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Social before Birth: Twins First Interact with Each Other as Fetuses
Scientific American ^ | 1/12/11 | Janelle Weaver

Posted on 01/13/2011 9:12:48 AM PST by markomalley

Every mother knows that newborns are social creatures just hours after birth. They prefer to look at faces over objects, and they even imitate facial expressions. Now a study sug­gests that the propensity for social interactions exists in the womb. Twins begin interacting as early as the 14th week of gestation.

Researchers at the University of Turin and the University of Parma in Italy used ultrasonography, a technique for imaging internal body structures, to track the motion of five pairs of twin fetuses in daily 20-minute sessions. As published in the October PLoS ONE, the scientists found that fetuses begin reaching toward their neighbors by the 14th week of gestation. Over the following weeks they reduced the num­ber of movements toward themselves and instead reached more frequently toward their counterparts. By the 18th week they spent more time contacting their partners than themselves or the walls of the uterus. Almost 30 percent of their movements were directed toward their prenatal companions. These movements, such as stroking the head or back, lasted longer and were more accurate than self-directed actions, such as touching their own eyes or mouth.

The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb, that they prefer to interact with them, and that they respond to them in special ways. Contact between them appeared to be planned—not an accidental outcome of spatial proximity, says study co-author Cristina Becchio of Turin. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,” she says.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: moralabsolutes; prolife; twins
But, but, but...

I thought that it (they) were just blobs of protoplasm before birth...

1 posted on 01/13/2011 9:12:49 AM PST by markomalley
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah; DJ MacWoW; cpforlife.org; NYer; Coleus; Salvation; narses

Huge pro-life article (yes, both series and hugh!!!)


2 posted on 01/13/2011 9:14:07 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: occamrzr06

Ping for later.


3 posted on 01/13/2011 9:19:05 AM PST by occamrzr06
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To: markomalley
I feel like writing to whoever headed up this study and telling them that here in backwoods GA we knew all of this already, and didn't have to spend a small fortune or have a team of researchers weigh in on it.
4 posted on 01/13/2011 9:21:30 AM PST by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: markomalley

When women abort one of their twins for this reason or that, it’s extremely disturbing, not that all abortion isn’t, but how do they expect their surviving twin to come into the world emotionally sound, when its witnessed its first murder before even leaving the womb.


5 posted on 01/13/2011 9:21:46 AM PST by mlizzy (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee ...)
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To: mlizzy

“When women abort one of their twins for this reason or that....”

The PC term is ‘Selective Reduction’.

I’m a twin, and pretty darned happy that I wasn’t reduced.


6 posted on 01/13/2011 9:25:30 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: markomalley

Being a mother of twins, I can assure you they interact with each other. Some days it felt they were have a fist fight! ;-)

Sometimes I swear I heard the faint words “He’s touching me”, don’t copy me!” ;-)


7 posted on 01/13/2011 9:29:31 AM PST by tiredoflaundry (I will not be silenced. Winners do not compromise!)
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To: markomalley
Gramma of 7 mos. old beautiful boy-girl twin BTTT!

(And yes, they are much more social than my singles ever were.)

8 posted on 01/13/2011 9:29:57 AM PST by truthkeeper ( God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.)
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To: arderkrag

No kidding. I swear that people who make their careers from research just sit and dream up stupid ideas to research because most of the significant stuff’s been done already.


9 posted on 01/13/2011 9:32:36 AM PST by Clara Lou
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To: markomalley

That’s interesting! I wonder if it’s exactly the same whether the twins are identical or fraternal? Same sex or different sex? My niece had twin fraternal girls. One of the twins, from the time she was a very teeny baby, when you’d hold her on your shoulder and pat her back as if to burp or comfort her, she would take her little hand and pat your back in the same way.


10 posted on 01/13/2011 9:33:52 AM PST by Nea Wood (Silly liberal . . . paychecks are for workers!)
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To: arderkrag

Did you know that the fetuses purposefully stroke the heads of their twins? I didn’t know that. Based on what I read, I don’t think they spent a small fortune on this study although in backwoods GA anything over the price of a wad of tobacco would be a small fortune! :)


11 posted on 01/13/2011 9:34:12 AM PST by SeeSac
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To: markomalley; 185JHP; 230FMJ; AKA Elena; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


12 posted on 01/13/2011 9:34:48 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: Nea Wood

HA...my Mother told me I did that when I was a baby....and I was NOT a twin....


13 posted on 01/13/2011 9:42:36 AM PST by goodnesswins (You deciding how to spend your health care $, thatÂ’s freedom. Govt deciding, thats a death panel)
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To: markomalley

To the “had-aborts” who are still trying to justify what they did instead of repenting,

they HAVE to be “just blobs of cells”,

because the alternative is murder.


14 posted on 01/13/2011 9:43:41 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a (de)humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: tiredoflaundry

Re: me too, Grin!
Being as one of them became a state runner-up champ wrestler, I KNOW he was practicing his moves long before I saw him. He wore the skin off his knees in the hospital bassinet before he came home. He’d scootch up to the end and keep on “spinning his wheels”.
The thing was, I’d been checked by three doctors and not one of them caught on that I was carring two. Just told me that it would be a big baby.
I didn’t think so, unless it had octopus arms and legs. Too much movement in too many directions at once.


15 posted on 01/13/2011 9:51:45 AM PST by bog trotter
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To: markomalley

Maybe I’m way off base here, but I always felt that the word ‘fetus’ preserves the distance that ‘science’ likes to maintain between us and ‘baby.’ Why do these researchers not refer to these little people as babies? My God, how much more insane study is needed before they accept that? Nevertheless, I am so touched to envision these babies touching and relating to each other....


16 posted on 01/13/2011 9:56:00 AM PST by LadyShires
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To: markomalley

Yep! I was able beat my twin brother at Pinochle consistently after week 16, and he used to pound on me when we played Cribbage...


17 posted on 01/13/2011 10:18:31 AM PST by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts...)
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To: mlizzy

My thought too..that baby would have PTS in the womb


18 posted on 01/13/2011 10:33:14 AM PST by RnMomof7 (Gal 4:16 asks "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?")
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To: markomalley

My son has a very slightly deformed ear, because no matter how his sister moved, he always made sure he moved too, to keep his head resting on her in utero. She has no marks, but his ear will always be like that (they are almost 9 now). For the first six months they would not sleep unless they were in the same crib. He is very protective of her and just adores her still. It all started months before they were even born.


19 posted on 01/13/2011 11:46:21 AM PST by lkco
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To: Clara Lou
No kidding. I swear that people who make their careers from research just sit and dream up stupid ideas to research because most of the significant stuff’s been done already.

Fishing for grant money is a fine art. The "research" is something else.

20 posted on 01/13/2011 11:51:32 AM PST by thulldud (Is it "alter or abolish" time yet?)
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To: markomalley

My twins are still the best of friends. They interacted in utero just like they do now - there was a dominant (the girl) and a passive (the boy) twin.


21 posted on 01/13/2011 12:44:50 PM PST by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: MrB

When I was 28 weeks, I had an ultrasound of my daughter. She was sucking her thumb.

My son was busy... being a boy... (a-hem) at his 7 month ultrasound. The dr told me that this was normal behavior for baby boys during the third trimester.

But the one that floored me was my son’s three month ultrasound. He was *kicking* his little butt off. It looked like he was trying to peddle a bike.

Ask moms how many of them played with their babies in the womb. Tapping their bellies and getting tapped or kicked back. Telling their baby to kick and getting the response.

I do so miss being pregnant! It was the funnest, most interesting, most beautiful experience of my life! I wish I could’ve done it half a dozen more times. :-)


22 posted on 01/13/2011 1:23:44 PM PST by Marie (Obama seems to think that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since Camp David, not King David)
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To: tiredoflaundry

LOL ! One of our girls came out looking like a prize fighter - her face was all bruised and her eyes were puffy. Her twin didn’t have a mark on her. “Rocky” was kind of quiet for the first few months - I guess her sister really must have laid into her.


23 posted on 01/13/2011 4:20:57 PM PST by Mygirlsmom (Wellstone II - and you didn't think it could ever be topped......)
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To: DJ MacWoW

Beautiful. No wonder twins always have a special relationship. It starts before they’re born.


24 posted on 01/13/2011 6:12:27 PM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: little jeremiah

It presents a lovely picture of pre-born babies!


25 posted on 01/13/2011 6:14:36 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: tiredoflaundry
Sometimes I swear I heard the faint words “He’s touching me”, don’t copy me!” ;-)

LOL!!! Best laugh of the morning!!!

One of my singletons had a very distinct personality from about 14 weeks onward, and I could tell he would have a buoyant, humorous personality from the way he would frolic around whenever I settled down to pray or read the paper. And he has turned out to be a very amusing and witty person.

26 posted on 01/15/2011 9:14:40 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Government does nothing as economically as the private sector. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: markomalley; little jeremiah; wagglebee


27 posted on 01/15/2011 10:02:15 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Government does nothing as economically as the private sector. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Albion Wilde

BTTT for incredibly beautiful photographs.


28 posted on 01/15/2011 12:00:35 PM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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