Many people know how it feels like when your intuition wants to tell you something, but what causes it?
Digby Tantam, a professor of psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield, UK, believes that the answer to this question lies in the interconnection of human brains that enables them to communicate between each other non-verbally through small micro-signals that reveal what the other person is thinking. He compares this to a Wi-Fi connection that connects human brains and enables us to understand how other people feel or what their intentions might be. According to Tantam this is called “the interbrain”.
Tantam claims that this is what creates the gut feeling. It’s the reason why we simply “know” something without having any clue why that is so. That’s the reason why laughter is contagious, why we immediately smile when the other person smiles or yawn when the person in front of us does the same.
“We are directly connected to the emotions of the other person and we know what they are paying attention to. I called this phenomenon interbrain.” – Tantam told The Telegraph.
The suggestion that a huge part of our communication is made non-verbally isn’t new. But the interbrain is not all about visual cues. Tantam claims that some of it could come down to our sense of smell. According to him a small changes in someone’s chemistry can produce particles that reveals their emotions, no matter whether it is lust, fear, excitement or something else. This theory argues that even people with the most polished poker face cannot hide the scent that they give off.
To support this argument, Tantam directed our attention to the areas related to smelling and he proved that they have the highest levels of neural activity in the brain. He also showed exactly where they are located. So, the area of the brain which is closest to the nose is the so-called orbitofrontal cortex.
However, not all the people in this world are connected to each other through wi-fi or interbrain. People with autism, for instance, are not connected to this system like everyone else. Even if they try hard and manage to learn some expressions with their meaning, still that’s not a solution to the problem of lack of human connection. He believes that this problem is the same as the problem connected to video calling or the Internet.
However, his hypotheses lack more arguments and facts that would support them. He promises that in the future he will make further research in order to prove that everything that he said is true.
We can’t wait to learn more about his research on this topic!