Have you ever wondered why we laugh when we are tickled? A team of German researchers believe that uncontrollable laughter during tickling has nothing to do with fun. According to scientists from the University of Tübingen, tickling activates a region of the human brain that is responsible for anticipating pain. That is why some people act quite aggressively when they are tickled.

Laughter from being tickled as a defense mechanism

Researchers believe tickling laughter is part of a defense mechanism by which the "victim" announces his surrender. During the study, volunteers had brain MRI cases to determine the similarity of laughter from tickling with laughter, which is a reaction to a joke or a funny situation. As it turns out, both tickling and laughter tend to activate the part of the brain that controls facial movements, as well as vocal and emotional responses. However, tickling also activates the hypothalamus, which controls body temperature, hunger, fatigue and sexual behavior, and instinctive defensive reactions. Therefore, according to scientists, some people start laughing just from the threat of tickling.

Interesting facts about tickling: from intimacy to torture

  1. Tickling brings you together

Tickling plays an important role in social bonding, for example, it helps mother and child communicate, strengthen bonds between friends. Psychologists believe tickling is part of a social game that helps people bond.

  1. The Self-Tickle Paradox

When we try to tickle ourselves, the cerebellum knows that we are about to touch ourselves, and therefore there is no surprise effect in self-tickling, and our sensations are correspondingly reduced by the command of the brain. 

  1. Tickling helps to identify the most vulnerable spots

Tickling tends to be most acute in the armpits, neck, genitals, chest, and soles of the feet. There is an assumption that such a reaction is due to the desire to protect the most vulnerable areas of the body, in which important veins, arteries pass, as well as important organs, ligaments and tendons.

  1. There are several types of tickling

Knismesis – so called light tickling (feather, blade of grass, etc.) – inherent in both humans and animals. Scientists suggest that such sensations are similar to those we experience when an insect crawls over us. This makes it easier for us to notice a small bug on the skin and get rid of it without being subjected to potentially dangerous bites. Gargalesis refers to forceful tickling.

  1. Tickling like torture

Tickle torture was common in China during the interrogation of prisoners. "Charm" such torture is that it leaves no marks on the body. The ancient Romans resorted to tickling when they needed to punish a person. To do this, a special saline solution was applied to the feet of the offender, which a goat licked from the feet of a person. Some people died from this tickling.

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  1. Tickling and orgasm

Tickling can be both part of love games and a way to achieve orgasm. Some people who master the art of tickling manage to bring their partner to the peak of bliss. Such cases are rare and not suitable for everyone – some are very sensitive to delicate touches. Some get excited by being tickled. This phenomenon is called oxygen magnesium.

  1. Why not everyone is ticklish equally

Like pain threshold, irritation threshold varies from person to person. It is believed that people who are more ticklish have a more receptive nervous system. With age (after about 40 years), the sensitivity to tickling decreases.

  1. How to stop tickling

Doctors know a technique that helps reduce sensitivity to tickling. This trick comes to their rescue when examining sensitive areas of the patient's body: the doctor asks the patient to put his hand on his own. Synchronizing the movements of the patient's hand with the movements of the doctor's hand makes the brain believe that the patient is tickling himself, as a result of which the sensations from such touches are dulled. This trick can be used when someone tickles you, if you manage to grab the hand of the person tickling you.

  1. Slimming tickling

It takes calories to get a good laugh while being tickled. Of course, you will not see the effect of losing weight from this method, since only 10-40 calories are burned in 10-15 minutes of laughter.

  1. Rats are also tickled to laugh

True, rat laughter is so high-pitched that the human ear can't hear it, but rats' giggles when tickled prove their ability to experience emotions.

Scientists continue to study the phenomenon of tickling, and estet-portal.com continues to share interesting information with its readers. If you know more interesting facts about tickling, write them in the comments!

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