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Brain Filters Sensory Information

Dr. Randy Flanagan, a Queen's psychologist has revealed that the impact of tickling is reduced when one practices it on himself. Dr. Flanagan is engaged in exploring the sensory attenuation which involves canceling the unnecessary information we are subject to. //The Public Library of Science (PloS) – Biology journal has published this report. It is not possible for a person to tickle himself as the resultant sensations are predictable.

A person can easily be overwhelmed if he were to try reacting to all the sensory information directed at him. It will also contribute towards diverting a person’s focus on the objects which require his attention. This mode of cancellation is used by wild animals while trying to avoid danger, or even while looking for their prey. Sensory cancellation is reported to be based upon predictive mechanisms rather than postdictive mechanisms.

The catch trials have proved that sensory cancellation occurs as the brain predicts a tap or a tickle. The sensory feedback is in effect received by the brain, which acts on the information it receives. The people who are not able to filter sensory information sufficiently may end up attributing it to other external causes. The Riken Brain Science Institute, Human Frontier Science Program, the Wellcome Trust, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada provided the funds for the research.
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