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You know that moment when you just get something without understanding how? A leading professor has a pretty cool theory as to how and why that happens.

We already know that language plays only one part in human communication, and that non-verbal signals are also key.

But Digby Tantam, a professor of psychotherapy at the University of Sheffield, is taking this a step further arguing that human brains are interconnected like 'wi-fi'.

Tantam claims that the brain picks up tiny micro-signals that communicate what a person is thinking, giving us that 'gut feeling' or intuitive moment.

Tantam told The Telegraphthat he calls the phenomenon 'The Interbrain'.

We can know directly about other people’s emotions and what they are paying attention to.

It is based on the direct connection between our brains and other people’s and between their brain and ours. I call this the interbrain.

One of its advantages is that the connection exists in the background. We take it for granted unless it is brought to the surface of our minds.

Tantam believes that all this is to do with your sense of smell.

So, we're not so much reading as sniffing out each other's minds.

Tantam points out that areas of the brain that have the most activity of neurons are in the prefrontal cortex, and are linked with smell.

If your brain chemistry changes, you might emit molecules that signal feelings such as fear or sexual arousal.

Tantam goes on to argue that his theory could explain why people are drawn to mass emotive events, such as religion, football or concerts.

The experience of transcendence is one and this might be the root of spirituality and indeed what many people would consider the meaning of life.

Being in crowd mode may also make us experience what it would be like to transcend out perspective, our time, our place and our capacity, to feel for a moment, like a driving being.

But he also warned that video calls can disrupt this process:

Even if you and they have excellent bandwith connection it is their face milliseconds before.

Emotional contagion occurs at the speed of light, not the speed of electronic transmission.

Face-to-face visual input is accompanied by sound, by gesture, by the smell of sweat, by the possibility of touch, and by a connect.

Tantam has written about his research in his new book, The Interbrain. However, more research is needed before we completely accept or debunk his theory.

HT The Telegraph

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