Ticklish


| 12 Comments

 

tickling.jpgHave you ever fell over hysterically because someone continued to tickle you and you could not stop laughing? Have you ever been severely upset and tried to cheer yourself up but nothing seemed to work? I know this might sound a little weird but I always wondered why tickling myself never has the same effect as someone else tickling me.

Sarah Blakemore asserts that the answer to this question lies in our cerebellum, which is at the back of our brains. The cerebellum helps us predict our own sensations and movements, but not sensations and movements of others. This is logical because we can't accurately predict what someone is thinking 100% of the time, nor can we predict what someone will do action after action.

The two areas of the brain that are involved in processing tickling are the somatosensory cortec which processes touch and the anterior cingulate cortex which processes information that we consider pleasing.

"both these regions are less active during self-tickling than they are during tickling performed by someone else, which helps to explains why it doesn't feel tickly and pleasant when you tickle yourself."

What is your take on this?

12 Comments

I think that this definitely makes sense because like your article says above the cerebellum helps to try to predict our senstaions and movements. It does not predict it of others though. So probably what happens is that we know we are going to touch ourselves so the two regions are less active so that they don't waste energy feeling thoose different touch marks.

This probably leads back to the days of having to hunt to survive where they relied on their senses to survive like dogs and cats still do in way http://www.ntid.rit.edu/prospective/daac/corey_h_2012/animalinstincts.html. What do you think is the reasoning?

I think the reason could possibly be because we do not need that sense of touch on because we know that we are going to touch ourself. Why waste energy on something that you know is going to happen. We probably highten the active level when we don't know something is going to happen so that we are more aware. It is probably part of our key sense that we use when we need it and leave it less active when we don't. http://www.scientificpsychic.com/workbook/chapter2.htm What is your take on the information?

sorry ment to delete first comment couldn't figure out how to.

I used to wonder same question and decided to look it up. Basically, I learned that the purpose we laugh/giggle when get tickled is because our bodies get in a state of panic and doesn’t know what to do.. Also, did you know that the nerves that feel the sensation of tickling are also your nerves that feel the sensation of pain? The main reason anyone can be tickled is the element of surprise and the feelings that follow - panic, laughter and sensation. Since tickles don't harm us, our body & nerves become confused & can't tell whether or not we are in any real danger, even if we consciously know we’re only in a playful tickle-fight. Therefore, your body doesn't know whether to laugh or scream, so you kind of end up doing both, depending on how ticklish you are. When we tickle ourselves we lose the surprise factor. Our brain knows what is happening so there's no reason to laugh. It is our cerebellum’s fault. The cerebellum is the part of our brain that watches our movements and knows what kind of feelings to expect. When you tickle yourself the cerebellum tells the rest of your brain that it’s just you tickling yourself so it doesn’t get into that state of panic.
source">http://www.kidzworld.com/article/650-why-we-cant-tickle-ourselves#">source

This is interesting to me but it makes sense because when we tickle ourselves, we know what to expect. When others tickle us we don’t know what to expect. We also are forced to respond immediately to their touching us.

I think that speed is a third variable in this situation. As I stated when others tickle us we are usually caught off guard and we process how we feel immediately. This is because they usually tickle us rapidly. When we tickle ourselves we don’t do it too fast (at least I haven’t when I’ve tried). Therefore it makes sense why the areas in our brain that sense touch and determine whether we are pleased are less active when we tickle ourselves because we doing it slower.

The idea that the laughing is caused by confusion is very interesting because it may be similar to when people laugh during a serious moment because they are not sure how to react. The awkwardness can cause confusion in our mind and the reaction that comes out is laughter. This may also be why some people are not as tickleish as others, because they are able to recognize the surprise and counteract the feeling because they now know what is going to happen. Another important part to this is where people are tickled. I know some people are ticklish in the stomach then the arm pit or foot. I'm curious as to why this is.

This is interesting to me but it makes sense because when we tickle ourselves, we know what to expect. When others tickle us we don’t know what to expect. We also are forced to respond immediately to their touching us.

I think that speed is a third variable in this situation. As I stated when others tickle us we are usually caught off guard and we process how we feel immediately. This is because they usually tickle us rapidly. When we tickle ourselves we don’t do it too fast (at least I haven’t when I’ve tried). Therefore it makes sense why the areas in our brain that sense touch and determine whether we are pleased are less active when we tickle ourselves because we doing it slower.

I agree with the re-occuring idea that we know we are going to touch ourselves so our senses aren't heightened. I disagree however, with your idea that we feel we are wasting energy by thinking about whether or not someone else is going to touch us. I don't think it's a matter of energy, but simply being mentally/physically aware of what's happening around us and what our own selves are doing.

In regards to your link, I found the senses sight and touch to be most relevant to this. Sight is identified as our most developed sense. This relates to tickling because you can physically see someone as they are about to touch you, but you don't necessarily know where they are going to begin tickling you, which I believe relates to the idea of our senses being heightened. In addition, the article states:

Nerve endings in the skin and other parts of the body transmit sensations to the brain.

This relates back to the question because we only experience sensations from OUR nerve endings, and not those of others. This could also contribute to why we feel a different sensation when someone else tickles us.

I agree with the re-occuring idea that we know we are going to touch ourselves so our senses aren't heightened. I disagree however, with your idea that we feel we are wasting energy by thinking about whether or not someone else is going to touch us. I don't think it's a matter of energy, but simply being mentally/physically aware of what's happening around us and what our own selves are doing.

In regards to your link, I found the senses sight and touch to be most relevant to this. Sight is identified as our most developed sense. This relates to tickling because you can physically see someone as they are about to touch you, but you don't necessarily know where they are going to begin tickling you, which I believe relates to the idea of our senses being heightened. In addition, the article states:

Nerve endings in the skin and other parts of the body transmit sensations to the brain.

This relates back to the question because we only experience sensations from OUR nerve endings, and not those of others. This could also contribute to why we feel a different sensation when someone else tickles us.

The idea that we laugh/giggle when we are tickled because our bodies are in a state of panic makes a lot of sense to me. Personally speaking, when someone tells me something very serious nine times out of ten, I chuckle and say "What?" before actually responding with an answer. Being in serious situations makes me scared, which relates to the body being in a state of panic.

I actually did not know that the nerves that feel the sensation of tickling are the same nerves that feel the sensation of pain. However, this makes sense also because being tickled can hurt when the person tickling you is doing it excessively. I also agree with the idea that when you are tickling yourself, you are aware of what you are doing, so you will not be alarmed. It goes back to the idea that I mentioned:

"The cerebellum helps us predict our own sensations and movements, but not sensations and movements of others. This is logical because we can't accurately predict what someone is thinking 100% of the time, nor can we predict what someone will do."

In regards to you article, I think it pointed out something very important. That is, some people are only ticklish in certain areas. Just because I laugh when someone tickles my stomach doesn't mean I will laugh when someone tickles my neck. This article also relates to that element of surprise. We don't know when/where/how long someone is going to tickle us.

One thing you pointed out that I felt was important was the idea that we are "forced to respond immediately to their touching us." I think that laughing could be considered one of our immediate responses, as well as making an effort to get the person tickling us to stop.

I also agree entirely with the idea that speed matters. This goes hand in hand with the rapid/immediate response. Whenever I try to tickle myself I do it relatively slow as well. It feels more like a massage than it does tickling. When someone else tickles you, they do it very quickly, as to make you laugh more, which supports what you mentioned:

Therefore it makes sense why the areas in our brain that sense touch and determine whether we are pleased are less active when we tickle ourselves because we doing it slower.

The idea that we laugh during something serious is exactly what I just mentioned in my response to Levi (above). When i chuckle after hearing something serious, I am confused and unaware of what to do.

An interesting point that you brought up is where people are ticklish. An article I came across (http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/all-have-same-ticklish-spots) notes that we are most ticklish in areas least touched by others (under our arms, the soles of our feet). I think it all has to do with sensitivity. Some people are more sensitive in certain areas than they are others.

The article also points out that the person doing the tickling also matters. If someone I wasn't too fond of started tickling me I would immediately be upset and tell them to stop. However, if my significant other tickled me, I would laugh because I am indeed ticklish.

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