Have you ever wondered why we laugh out loud when someone tickles us but we don’t laugh when we tickle ourselves? Let’s quickly explore the actual logic behind this interesting phenomenon.
When someone else tickles certain parts of our body, like our feet or sides, we tend to burst into laughter. However, when we try to tickle ourselves in those same spots, we really don’t experience the same laughter.
Explore the fascinating phenomenon of tickling and uncover the actual logic behind why we laugh when someone tickles us but not when we tickle ourselves.
So, why does this happen? Well, the actual reason behind it lies in our brain’s ability to predict sensations. When someone else tickles us, it easily triggers an unexpected and unpredictable sensation. Our brain processes this as a surprise, leading to laughter as a response.
On the other hand, when we tickle ourselves, our brain anticipates the touch and predicts the sensation, reducing the element of surprise. This prediction dampens the tickling sensation and prevents us from experiencing the same laughter as when someone else tickles us.
In short, the difference in laughter response when being tickled by someone else versus tickling ourselves is due to our brain’s ability to predict and anticipate sensations.
This is the reason for tickling
Two parts of our brain are responsible for feeling tickles, the first is the somatosensory cortex. This part understands touch. The second is the anterior cingulate cortex.
It actually works to understand happiness or any interesting feeling. So when we tickle ourselves, the cerebellum part of the brain already senses this and informs the cortex. In such a situation, the cortex prepared for tickling becomes aware in advance, due to which we do not feel tickled. In fact, the whole process of tickling depends on the surprise. Whenever someone tickles us all of a sudden, our brain is not prepared for it. Because of we laugh a lot.
What is the science behind tickling?
According to the scientist, tickling happens in two ways. The first is Nismesis. In this, if the body is lightly touched, the outer layer of the skin at that place called the epidermis, it transmits messages to the brain through the nerves. This causes a slight itching or burning sensation. The second is gargalesis, due to which a person laughs profusely by touching the stomach, armpit or throat.
Tickling was a punishment
Now where tickling is used to make someone laugh, earlier it was used to torture people. There was also an article related to this in the British Medical Journal. Chinese tickle torture is a variation of this. During the reign of the Heian kings, Tikal Torture was given to the people sitting in high positions for minor mistakes. That is, it was tickled and made to laugh a lot, until the person who made the mistake was out of breath.
Tickling is also sometimes a sign of danger. The parts of our body which have more neurons, such as the abdomen, the part between the thighs and abdomen, are really very sensitive. Laughter starts just by touching these places. When tickled, our brain feels pleasure and mild pain at the same time. This puts the mind under stress. This tension comes out in the form of uncontrollable laughter.
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