Neuroscientists show how to ward off tickle attacks

Researchers are also getting closer to answering the mystery of why you can’t tickle yourself.

In the Neuroscience Laboratory in Berlin, I conducted experiments with volunteers last year Tickle phenomenon to explore closely. To do this, six groups of two groups who were familiar with each other were placed in such a way that one person suddenly got tickled on different parts of the body that the researchers identified. Reactions to this were captured by video cameras With high frame rate and microphones measured. Similar experiments have already been performed in the past on animals such as mice. On the other hand, hardly any attempts have been made to define human behaviour.

Delayed audible response

as such Ars Technica reportsMany interesting ideas can be obtained from these experiments. When tickled, he came average After 300 milliseconds for the first bodily reactionMostly with a smile. The first audible feedback came after 500 milliseconds. According to the researchers, this is remarkable because audio responses to touch typically occur much earlier, at around 320 milliseconds.

Touching yourself changes perception

in 70 percent of cases follow up Laugh to tickle. Size correlates with the perceived intensity of the tickling sensation. It is proven that the feet, armpits and neck are the most sensitive parts of the body. As an experiment, test subjects were also asked Tickle yourself at the same timewhen tickled. It happened 25% less laughs. Responses to foreplay were delayed to 700 ms. So trying to tickle yourself during foreplay cancels out much of the effect.

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The trials should also shed more light on the mystery of why You can’t fool yourself. This question has preoccupied people for thousands of years. Aristotle, Socrates, Galileo Galilei and Francis Bacon are among the researchers who did not find an answer. The Berlin team led by Michael Brecht of Humboldt University did not come up with a conclusive explanation either.

dimming mechanism

However, after the experiments, Brecht suspects that she is the one nervous system mechanism behaves when touched almost closed. If the mechanism wasn’t there, people would constantly laugh when they touched areas that would normally be sensitive to tickle attacks.

According to Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at University College London, this explanation is reasonable. blackout effects They also occur elsewhere in humans, for example while talking. While speaking, the ability to listen and understand is diminished. So the mechanism can also darken your tickle responses if you touch yourself while doing so.

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