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Why We Can't Tickle Ourselves

Why We Can't Tickle Ourselves - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

Being tickled can send even the calmest person into hysterics. Just the thought of being tickled can cause giggles. Ever try tickling yourself and couldn't get a laugh out? Here's why. - Page 1

How come we can't tickle ourselves? Most of us have a ticklish spot. It might be behind your knee, on the bottom of your foot or even the palm of your hand. For some of us, just the threat of being tickled can send us into giggles. Of course there's always the occasional oddball who claims he or she can't be tickled.

If the thought of being tickled sends you into a fit of laughter than you'd think tickling yourself should do the same. Although we laugh when we are tickled, what we feel is panic which is natural considering it feels like spiders and other creepy insects are crawling on us. There's also the fear and unease of someone touching you and you never know where they are gonna tickle you next.

The main reason anyone can be tickled is the element of surprise and the feelings that follow - panic, laughter and sensation. When we tickle ourselves we have lost the surprise factor. Our brain knows what is happening so there's no reason to laugh. We can blame this on our cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of our brain that watches our movements and knows what kind of feelings to expect. When you tickle yourself the cerebellum tells the rest of your brain, "It's just you so don't get excited."

They say laughter is the best medicine so it's too bad we can't tickle ourselves. People with schizophrenia (a psychotic disorder that causes illusions and unrealistic thinking) can't seem to tell the difference between stimulating themselves or having someone else do it. That means there's a good chance they can tickle themselves.

1 This is a story about getting tickled really bad and it happened to me last year. I was at the beach in Florida with my family. Me and my older sister were really bored so we played in the sand and then we decided to bury each other in the sand. I volunteered to go first and we dug a big hole and I sat in it while she covered me up completely with wet sand except for my head and my feet. She asked me if I could move at all and I said no. She took a small stick and ran it up and down the bottom of my foot. I screamed! I am so ticklish on my feet! She called my cousins over and said to help. They all got my feet so bad! They took string and "flossed" in between my toes, they scratched my feet - I was goin crazy the whole time. I was laughin' and screamin' - it was soooo bad! They didn't let me out for a while but when they did I tackled my sister and got her back. I tickled her belly for a while, hehe. It was fun.

Kidz Submit by:

Nickname: jenny420tck
Age: 14

To read some more from Kidzworld members about their craziest tickle experiences, click here.

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