Why do we laugh when tickled?

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We usually ask ourselves this question but we don’t reach any answers. 

This may seem strange to some extent but it doesn’t relate with being a funny person.

Scientists couldn’t put an accurate definition for tickling because the sensation involves the work of some neurological and sensory elements, in addition, there is no special receptors for tickling on our skin.

We laugh when tickled due to signals sent by pain and touch receptors on the skin to the brain as tickling activates the Rolandic operculum -an area in the brain that controls facial, vocal and emotional reactions, governs pleasurable feelings and causes laughter -this area is not the one activated after hearing a funny joke- the difference may be due to the additional activation of the hypothalamus which controls body temperature, hunger or tiring.

But did you think before how can laughing protect you in this situation?

The answer is that laughing when tickled in our sensitive spots:(under the arms, near the throat and under our feet) is a defensive mechanism to be in a calm situation and prevent being hurt.

We can see all wonder that they can’t tickle themselves!

It really worthes wondering, but scientists found out that cerebellum can predict what would happen, so it would suppress tickling response and this is because brain filters out the unimportant information, so it won’t waste precious time in interpreting the signals from the tickles.

And finally, If you are one of those who hate being tickled, you must know that putting your hand on the hand of the one trying to tickle you allows your brain to better predict the sensation of their hands, therefore it will suppress the tickle response.

Written by: Heba Emad

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