Via Adrian Brockwell / PhotoSpin
One of the best sounds in the world is laughter. Some of the best laughter is generated by tickling.
"[Tickling is] one of the first forms of communication between babies and their caregivers," said Dr. Robert R. Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the author of the book ʺLaughter: A Scientific Investigationʺ.
The adult-to-child tickling activity ʺopens the door for other interactions.ʺ Also, children learn a very valuable lesson from their tickling experiences.
According to an article in Popular Science Magazine, Donald Black, a University of Iowa psychiatrist claimed "many ticklish parts of the body, such as the neck and the ribs, are also the most vulnerable in combat. He inferred that children learn to protect those parts during tickle fights, a relatively safe activity."
In addition, tickling is the ultimate icebreaker in relationships.
Provine stated, ʺTickling is partly a mechanism for social bonding between close companions and helps forge relationships between family members and friends.ʺ
Tickling, especially when you’re a kid, is a very social activity. We tickle someone to make them smile or laugh, grab their attention, and to be playful. We also tickle to flirt with the opposite sex. Tickling can be great foreplay.
According to the MSN Health website, there are two types of tickling:
• Knismesis. This is the tickling you experience when you run your fingernails or a feather lightly over your skin.
• Gargalesis. This type of tickling makes you laugh and squirm.
Finally, there are some great mysteries about tickling:
• Why cannot we tickle ourselves?
• Why are some more ticklish than others?
• Why don’t adults like to be tickled?
Two neuroscientists explained why we can’t tickle ourselves in the book ʺWelcome to Your Brain.ʺ We can’t tickle ourselves because ʺevery move you make, part of your brain is busy predicting the sensory consequences of that movement. This system keeps your senses focused on what’s happening in the world so important signals aren’t drowned out in the endless buzz of sensations caused by your own actions.ʺ