Neuroscientists show how to stop tickle attacks

Neuroscientists show how to stop tickle attacks

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

Experiments were conducted with volunteers last year, at the Berlin Neuroscience Laboratory. tickle incident To explore more closely. To do this, six groups of two who were familiar with each other were positioned in such a way that a person suddenly got tickled on different parts of the body as specified by the researchers. Reactions to this were captured on video cameras With high frame rate and microphone measured. Similar experiments have been done in the past with animals such as rats. On the other hand, attempts to measure human behavior have rarely been made.

late hearing response

as Ars Technica reportsMany interesting information can be obtained from these experiments. If tickled, it came on average after 300 milliseconds for the first physical response, mostly with a smile. The first audible response came after 500 milliseconds. According to the researchers, this is notable because vocal responses to touch typically occur earlier, at about 320 milliseconds.

Touching yourself changes perception

In 70 percent follow up cases Laugh at To tickle. The volume is correlated with the perceived intensity of the tickling sensation. The legs, armpits and neck proved to be the most sensitive parts of the body. As an experiment, test subjects were also asked to tickle yourself at the same timeWhen tickled occurred 25 percent less laugh, Tickling responses were delayed by 700 milliseconds. So trying to tickle yourself while tickling negates a large part of the effect.

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Trials should shed more light on the mystery why It’s not possible to tickle yourself, This question has occupied people for thousands of years. Aristotle, Socrates, Galileo Galilei and Francis Bacon are among the researchers who did not find the answer. The Berlin team, led by Michael Brecht of Humboldt University, was also unable to provide a definitive explanation.

dimming mechanism

After experiments, however, Brecht suspects that it is a nervous system works on touch almost closed, If the mechanism was not present, people would laugh continuously when they touched areas that are usually vulnerable to tickle attacks.

According to Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at University College London, this explanation is plausible. dimming effect elsewhere in humans, for example while talking, The ability to hear and understand decreases while speaking. So if you touch yourself while doing it the mechanism can also reduce the tickling reactions.

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