In the new study’s first phase, each subject had their moment in front of the GoPros and microphone. Previous studies have established that tickling is mood-dependent—anxiety and unfamiliarity suppress it like a wet blanket. Since participants would have to take turns tickling each other, Brecht’s team made sure each pair knew each other beforehand and felt comfortable—but each person was still surprised by the actual tickling attack. The tickler always hid behind their partner, while watching a videoscreen that fed them randomized sequences of body parts to touch. Neck, armpit, lateral trunk, plantar foot, crown of the head—each spot got five quick tickles… More here.
One of those questions we never think about, but really want the answer to.