The sensation of being ticklish occurs as a physiological response to unexpected touch when the somatosensory cortex and anterior cingulate cortex in the brain produce two messages via the central nervous system that combine to produce a pleasant sensation, reports Josh Clark for HowStuffWorks. The same nerves that interpret the tickling sensation also report sensations of hot, cold and pain to the brain's neurological pathways.Know More
Clark elaborates that tickling has the potential to go too far; if enough pressure is applied to a person for an extended period of time, the sensation of being tickled can quickly become uncomfortable or even painful.
The brain also uses the ticklish response as a warning or protection mechanism through the use of small hairs on the body, similar to the way cats, dogs and other mammals rely on the use of their whiskers to alert them to unexpected stimulation. This can help alert people to the presence of bugs such as mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, ants and flies that may be crawling over areas of the skin unnoticed.
People commonly laugh as a reaction to being tickled not because they find the act of feeling ticklish funny, but because they are exhibiting a subconscious reaction of submitting to their aggressor's action.Learn more about Skin Care
Caffeine functions by stimulating the central nervous system, which affects the heart and blood pressure, by blocking adenosine, a natural chemical found in the brain that regulates sleep. Adenosine connects to receptors in the brain and slows down the activity of the cells; drowsiness results. Caffeine works to keep an individual alert by taking over the receptors and increasing their speed, which has the opposite effect of adenosine.Full Answer >
Nervous tissue is found in peripheral nerves throughout the body and in the organs of the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord. Nerve tissue is composed of neurons, which are specialized cells able to react to stimuli by sending a signal down a long strand of cell known as an axon. Nervous tissue is responsible for receiving information from the senses, processing it and sending out instructions.Full Answer >
According to Dartmouth, the cerebral cortex is the outer layer of the brain and is responsible for numerous functions including sensation, language, creativity, motor processes, memory, abstraction, emotion, attention and judgement. The cerebral cortex is generally associated with the higher-level functions of the brain, and in animals with large brains, it is wrinkled as to provide more surface area for grey matter to flourish.Full Answer >
HowStuffWorks explains that people cannot tickle themselves because the brain is aware that the sensation of touch is impending, and it loses the effect of surprise that usually accompanies the sensation of being tickled. The brain's cerebellum is responsible for deciphering whether a touch is familiar or unexpected.Full Answer >