Why cant you tickle yourself?

That pretty much says it.

Here is one answer from How Stuff Works:

[quote]
Brain scientists at the University College London have pinpointed the cerebellum as the part of the brain that prevents us from self-tickling. The cerebellum is the region located at the base of the brain that monitors our movements. It can distinguish expected sensations from unexpected sensations. An expected sensation would be the amount of pressure your fingers apply to your keyboard while typing. An unexpected sensation would be someone sneaking up behind you and tapping you on the shoulder. While the brain discards the sensation of typing, it pays a lot of attention to someone tapping on your shoulder. The difference in reactions from expected to unexpected is a built-in response that probably developed in early human history to detect predators.[/quote/

For the same reason it’s hard to get carsick when you’re driving: your body compensates for external stimuli if you’re aware of what’s “coming.” It’s the disconnect between the stimulus and the awareness of the stimulus that causes the dissonance that results in tickling and carsickness.

Anyway, that’s always been my theory.

Ha! I was right! cool.

It wasn’t good enough for me though.

Example - If I lift my kid’s arm up and slowly bring my hand toward his armpit, and then tickle, he’s laughing. He knows it’s coming, and has a pretty good idea of what the touch-pressure will be buecause I’ve done it before, but it still tickles. In fact he’s laughing before I even touch him.

I am not sure if this can be defined as “tickling yourself,” but when I put on my fleece warm-ups on a dry day and the static electricity gets to my leg hair (I am a guy)- it gives me a tickle sensation- enough to give me the shivers as if someone was lightly tickling me. I am not sure if this fits into the definition of tickling yourself, I guess one could argue that I am just giving myself goosbumps, but it sure feels like I am getting tickled.

He isn’t hooked into every little subtle motion of your hands, like you would be with yourself. He knows the overall experience is coming, but the externality of the stimulus is what makes it do what it does.

Do you not understand Shagnasty’s cite? I said exactly the same thing, only way poorlier.

Cecil touches on this briefly here.

Lots of people can tickle themselves by lightly brushing their tongue across the roof of their mouth. Me, for instance.

There are a few spots on myself that I can tickle that cause me to cringe and twist pleasantly in an effort to avoid such touch. Spots on my ribs, places on my thighs. It can even make me smile. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing and where I’m doing it. The theory of knowingness doesn’t seem to have total explanatory power here. Something else is at work, too. xo, C.

Me too.

I can definitely tickle myself. I’m a very ticklish person, and being tickled by someone else will have me begging for mercy within seconds. But even when I tickle myself, it’s still uncomfortable enough that I have a hard time going through with it for more than a few seconds. The soles of my feet are especially vulnerable to self-tickling.

Someone beginning to laugh at the expectation of being tickled is probably a conditioned response.

Although you may induce an involuntary nerve response when trying to tickle yourself and experience the sensation of being tickled, you’ll most likely not find yourself laughing. So, are you really tickling yourself?