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Why Do We Laugh When We Are Tickled?

Clinton Mwenje

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I still remember I used to do this a lot to my younger brother during our childhood whenever I had to make him laugh and he used to burst into laughter like anything. However, I never gave a thought to the question… Why does it happen when someone touches our sensitive parts like neck, tummy, armpits, soles, hips, the back, and many more places? Surprisingly, many people don’t like to be tickled but they still laugh in the end. There is some sort of excitement in it. In the end, you feel some sort of relief. So, what is it that makes us laugh?

 

Defensive Mechanism

According to scientists, we laugh when the aforementioned parts are tickled due to our body’s defensive mechanism. According to researchers, we get signals like yielding an attacker during tickling. By doing so, this mechanism reduces the state of stress and saves us from getting hurt.

Why can’t we tickle ourselves? Or why don’t we experience the same pleasure when we tickle ourselves?

Why is tickling ourselves not exciting or relieving in any way? The reason for this is our brain’s back part, which is called the cerebellum. It tells us that we are going to tickle ourselves; therefore the brain does not send signals when such efforts are made. Evolutionary Biologists and Neuroscientists concur, on tickling, the same part of the brain (hypothalamus) forces us to laugh, which is active before painful sensations.

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