The insane science of why we laugh when tickled

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Science of being tickled || Physiology of tickling || Social aspect of tickling || Ticklish spots || Last Word

A girl ticking another child's feet to make her laugh

Tickling is the act of touching a body part in a way that causes laughter. Tickling results from a mild stimulation moving across the skin, and is associated with behaviors such as smiling, laughter, twitching, withdrawal, and goosebumps.

Science of being tickled

The areas of our body that are more ticklish are also the ones that are more vulnerable to serious injury.

Humans have evolved as a social species, and as a social species, we pass knowledge from previous to future generations.

Tickle fights help a person by teaching him how to defend against attacks. When tickled, a defender will try to fend off the attacker to escape.

We laugh to show our submission to an aggressor when we tickled.

Physiology of Being Tickled

Tickling is of two types:

  1. Kinsmesis
  2. Gargalesis

Kinsmesis is a mildly annoying sensation caused by a light touch.

Gargalesis is a laughter feeling caused by a harsher, deeper touch.

Social Aspects of Being Tickled

Tickling is a method of bonding between parents and children. Another relationship that is fostered with the help of tickling is between siblings of the same age.

Siblings often tickle each other rather than violence when attempting to punish or intimidate one another, where one sibling will tickle the other without mercy to pursue domination.

Also, as an individual can’t tickle himself/herself, this supports the hypothesis that tickling is primarily a socialization activity.

Ticklish spots

  1. Feet
  2. Neck
  3. Armpits
  4. Stomach
  5. Sides
  6. Perineum
  7. Back of the knee
  8. Thighs

The Last Word

Tickling is a safe bonding activity which can be quite exciting for some, though it is relatively safe, be sure to never harass or torture someone using tickling, as it negatively affects your relationship with that person. Till then… bye bye and keep tickling 😂.

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