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Why are we ticklish?

A new study from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has found how “ticklishness” is represented in the rat brain (November 2016).

Of all physical sensations, ticklishness is perhaps the most mysterious. Why do we laugh in response to tickling? Why are certain body parts more ticklish? Why cannot we tickle ourselves? Indeed, the mystery of ticklish perception has been discussed for more than two millennia by great intellectuals including Aristotle and Charles Darwin. Despite such long-standing interest, the mechanism of ticklishness remained elusive.
The researchers Shimpei Ishiyama and Michael Brecht (Coordinator of the Bernstein Center Berlin) from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) recently discovered what happens in the brain when we are tickled and which brain regions are responsible for ticklishness. The study has been published on 11th November 2016 in Science.

Read the complete press release by the Humboldt-Univeristät zu Berlin

Image on the preview page Shimpei Ishiyama HU

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