Why can't I tickle myself?

Why can’t I tckle myself? This question was posed by my 9 year-old daughter. Anyone got an answer? Thanks

Cecil Adams on Is it possible for someone to be tickled to death?

Darwin may not have the last word on this subject.

I read somewhere that a researcher hooked a machine up to people so that it delayed their movements (some kind of robotic arm I guess). They could only tickle themselves if there was a certain amount of delay added to their movements.

Can’t remember any other details. Sorry.

You can’t tickle yourself because you, personally, are not ticklish enough

I on the other hand am perfectly capable of tickling myself at will. In fact, I am capable of tickling myself on the soles of the feet without moving a muscle by the following expedient.

[li]Sit on floor with soles of feet exposed to empty air, no shoes, no socks[/li][li]Concentrate on what the soles of my feet feel like[/li][/ul]

This extraordinary talent is not as useful as you might think…

Of course, you could just be using the wrong technique. In my experience, the “dig fingers into sensitive squishy parts (eg stomach)” technique does not work when the object of your tickling is yourself. The “draw fingers lightly along sensitive area (soles of feet, base of neck)” technique is much better for self-tickling. If you’re into that sort of thing.

The theory on the science program hosted by Alan Alda which was on public broadcasting last month was that we evolved in such a way as to prevent us from tickling ourselves. The reason for this evolution was given that any animal which spends a good deal of time responding to itself will 1) draw unwanted predatory attention 2) ignore relevant external input and 3) not get much rest at all (I imagine waking up fifty times a night because I accidentally touched my own foot wrong).

It’s mentioned here: Howstuffworks “Why can’t you tickle yourself?”

I’m quoting now from *Laughter, A Scientific Investigation * by Robert R. Provine (20000.

For more details, please read the book.

[hyjack] does that explain how my brother is the only person on the planet who can get me laughing so hard via ticlkle that I piss myself? Noone else, not my ex hub, not my oldest brother, not my daughter, noone else can even get a responce to a tickle out of me.
Is it a ghost memory from youth? Surely, he dosn’t have that good of a technique?

It does however explain the ability to turn off being ticklish at will.[/hyjack]

I should add a bit more info from the book.