Why do we feel ticklish? Why does it make us laugh? It’s hard to pin down a scientific definition – or explanation – of tickling. It’s a complex phenomenon, involving a range of sensory and neurological elements, which means it’s hard to identify why it evolved. Is it socially significant? Or an alarm system, warning us of things crawling on our skin?

In this video from The Royal Institution, Dr. Emily Grossman not only explains what’s going on in our brains when we get tickled or when we try to tickle ourselves, but she also has a simple trick for you to try the next time someone’s tickling you: How To Stop Yourself Being Ticklish.

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