Twins are special because they can tell us about nature and nurture in human development. From twin studies like TEDS, we know that both are important for every complex human characteristic: each trait is influenced by both genes and environments.

But is that the same everywhere? What if we explore how the balance of nature and nurture varies across a nation like the UK? The spACE project uses statistical and visual analysis to do just that. It shows that the relative importance of nature and nurture really can depend on where we live.


The video above demonstrates the spACE visualisation program that we developed to explore the variation in genetic and environmental influences across the UK. This analysis of TEDS data is described in the following freely available article:

Davis OSP, Haworth CMA, Lewis CM, & Plomin R (2012) Visual analysis of geocoded twin data puts nature and nurture on the map. Molecular Psychiatry, 17, 867-874. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.68

If you find the research or the software interesting, please consider citing this article.


The spACE software is available under the GNU General Public Licence version 3.0. The downloads below include binaries, source code and full instructions. The video above also provides a demonstration of the software in action.

WindowsMac OS XLinux

With newer versions of Mac OS X, you may need to tell Gatekeeper to allow apps downloaded from "Anywhere" before you can run the program. You can change this in System Preferences->Security & Privacy->General. Once you've launched spACE for the first time, you should be able to change the settings back; spACE will run fine the next time you launch it.

Version History

12.06.12 1.0 Initial release