Why does it feel so different when you touch yourself and when someone else touches you?

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It feels so different for when people touch me compared to my own touch. Even simple stuff like someone grabbing my wrist, or grazing my skin or even tickling all feels completely different when someone else does it to me. Is there a reason for this or is that more personal?

In: Biology

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I read about this a long time ago. Nutshell version is that it’s leftover primal stuff. You can’t tickle yourself, before your brain is immediately familiar with your own touch. Same principle. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

When someone else touches you, you experience a sensation only from that touch.

When you touch yourself, you experience a sensation from where you are touched and from where you are touching. Also, you have foreknowledge about where and how you’re going to experience that sensation.

Anonymous 0 Comments

What’s it called when you numb your arm & hands and then give yourself a tight? A ghost handy?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your brain compares what it expects to the sensory information that it receives. If you’re the one creating the sensation then your body is able to anticipate and predict the sensation. This is why you can’t usually* tickle yourself: your brain knows what to expect and is able to short circuit the sensation.

* I said you can’t usually tickle yourself. If there’s a long enough delay between the action that you create and the sensation that you receive then it can basically exceed the attention span of the part of the brain that filters out the self-stimulation signal. Generally in order to create that delay you have to use some sort of an electrical or mechanical device to accept your stimulation and then reproduce it after a delay. One may argue that in some sense you still aren’t tickling yourself. No lawyer has approved this message. Your mileage may vary. Laughter not included.