Resemblance of tongue anatomy in twins

Andrew I. Spielman, Joseph G. Brand, Yvonne Buischi, Walter A. Bretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compared the anatomical features of the tongue in nine pairs of twins - six monozygotic and three dizygotic. The aim of the project was to determine if tongues, like any other anatomical structure, could be used to reliably predict relatedness given that tongue shape, presentation and surface can be influenced by environment. Using the method of forced choice, 30 subjects were asked to match the photographs of tongues from twins. Our data indicate that, based on visual assessment, monozygotic twins have highly similar tongues (60% matches); similarly, dizygotic twins were matched 31% of the time, which is a higher probability than would be expected from random selection. This study should help identify baseline and control data in future behavioral studies of taste, which has a genetic basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Anatomy
  • Concordance
  • Tongue
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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