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What happens in the body makes a person feel tickled, according to science

What happens in the body makes a person feel tickled, according to science

A light touch with a person's fingertips on parts of the neck, armpits and even feet causes a sensation already known to the body: tickle. Common to almost everyone, it causes a reaction in the body that is difficult to describe in words.

But over time, scientists sought to understand exactly what these harmless gestures do to the human body. Understand below.

Who are the real people responsible for tickling?

Each of the five senses – hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch – has an organ through which it sends messages to the brain. In the case of touch, the sense involved in tickling is the skin.

Full of nerve endings, they are very sensitive. For example, you can feel subtle stimuli such as a strand of hair passing through your arm. But the receptor that sends the tickling message is of a special type: it is called free nerve endings.

When they are irritated, signals from this type of touch travel through nerves to two specific parts of the brain, the somatosensory cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex, which translate the information.

Sometimes touch is read as caressing, but other times it is defined as tickling. If so, the body's reaction is familiar: Laughter And the twists.

The most sensitive areas

Older studies suggest that places where a person is most sensitive to tickling also tend to be more vulnerable to physical aggression. For example, with only a few bones to protect them.

Research conducted in 1997 tested the most common areas for tickling and the theory made more sense. As a result of the test conducted on 72 students, the most sensitive body parts were the armpits, waist, ribs and soles of the feet.

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In this way, tickling makes certain parts of the body the person's areas of interest, because he already knows that the area is sensitive. In theory, this should encourage its own protection at the expense of other parts of the body.

Is it impossible to tickle yourself?

according to Experts, Yes. This is because the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for controlling movement, predicts tickling when a person makes movements to himself.

Then, a signal is sent that warns the rest of your brain that it will arrive and interfere with the way you feel.

according to Canadian scientists From Queen's University, this brain process is called sensory attenuation. In it, the organ filters out unnecessary information to focus energy on what is relevant to the organism.

Therefore, tickling that a person has already planned and carried out is considered a waste of time. As a result, the brain discards information before it has a chance to enter consciousness.