“The area of the brain that is closest to the nose is the orbitofrontal cortex. It might be there because so many of our most basic connections to other people are via smell,” he told The Telegraph.
But this human wi-fi, or “interbrain”, doesn’t connect to everyone. People with autism, Tantam explains, are not plugged into the system like everyone else.
“They are often able to pick up or learn what expressions mean and yet that doesn’t seem to solve the problem of that lack of human connection,” he added.
He also points out the problems associated with video calling and the Internet.
“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,” he explained.
For now, though, it seems more research is needed to confirm or debunk his hypothesis.
[H/T: The Telegraph]