In a nutshell: People can’t tickle themselves even when an experimental set up is used to make the direction of the tickle opposite to the direction their fingers move. But they can be tickled by a third party — unless their attention is drawn to incongruity between the direction of the tickle and what is felt. This finding is consistent with theory that the brain minimises differences between predictions about sensory inputs and actual inputs.

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Van Doorn, G.H., Paton, B., Howell, J., & Hohwy, J. (2015). Attenuated self-tickle sensation even under trajectory perturbation. Consciousness and Cognition, 36, 147-153.

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