Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Missed That Episode of the Patty Duke Show

Apparently twins are circus freaks and need to be investigated by professionals, so since we were nine, my sister Amy and I have participated in the University of MN Twin Study. Every few years, they would arrange for our family to come down to Minneapolis and spend the day at the university.

Half the day was spent being interviewed where we were asked every single question about every single topic ever. The other half of the day was spent in the lab, which was definitely more fun. We wore brainwave caps and then performed different tasks so they could measure our brain activity. I always found it all very interesting.

There was just one part that was a little bit Clockwork Orange-like. We had to sit in a chair, facing a screen, wearing headphones, with a button under our thumbs. On the screen was a countdown from ten to zero. The idea was to press the button when the countdown hit one, but before it hit zero. If you missed it, the worst sound in the world was blasted really loudly through your headphones.

Sometimes, the numbers on the screen would turn red. Then it didn't matter if you pressed the button or not. You were going to get the noise either way. And that part was incredibly anxiety inducing. I'm not a scientist or anything, but I'm pretty sure I'm lucky I didn't get electrocuted from all the fear sweat I got on the electrodes.

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