When you look in the mirror, like most human beings, you have a very strong sense of self and who you are as an individual. That individuality that humans feel, sense, and ”know” defines and shapes our lives. What would happen if you shared a brain with another person? Would your sense of individuality be any different?
Krista and Tatiana:
Krista and Tatiana are conjoined twins. While that alone is a very unique situation, the twins are conjoined at the head and share a mind. Many children born this way do not survive, but Krista and Tatiana seem to be doing well. As reported by the New York Times, Douglas Cochrane, the girls neurosurgeon believes that the twins minds are linked by a thalamic bridge that connects one girls thalamus to the others. How does this affect their individuality?
Function of the Thalamus:
The thalamus plays a role in many functions. It relays and processes visual stimulation, relays auditory information, and according to scientists the thalamus is thought to regulate consciousness, as well as regulate wakefulness and alertness. What we see and hear, our ability to be alert, and our very sense of self may tied into the thalamus. What does this mean for Krista and Tatiana?
See Through Each Others Eyes:
Krista and Tatiana sharing a thalamic link or bridge has never been studied before in recorded scientific history, to his knowledge, reports Todd Feinberg, a professor of clinical psychiatry and neurology. According to reports by The New York Times and the girls own doctors suggest that the girls share and experience one another’s thoughts.
For example, if one girl eats something and the other doesn’t like that type of food, she will still wipe at her tongue and act as if she tastes the food also. Reports claim that if one girl is thirsty, both girls will simultaneously get up and go to get a drink with no words spoken between them. They seem to know what the other is thinking and feeling. Doctors report that the girls, “See through each other’s eyes.” Their mother reported that, “When they are playing, one of the girls will reach over and grab something from her sister’s side and know exactly where it is without possibly being able to see it.”
If we could all feel each others emotions — fear, joy, elation — we would never kill each other in senseless war or acts of violence. If we could know intuitively what another person needed without words being spoken, we would help one another more readily. Krista and Tatiana have a very important lesson to teach the world. While we don’ have the unique ability they do, we can still redefine our thoughts toward others to be more understanding and accepting. Ego is selfish (I, me, my) and likes to boast; proving individuality and uniqueness. Krista and Tatiana prove that thinking in terms of ‘we’, rather than the ego driven ‘I” is possible.
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