The ability to tickle oneself is associated with level of psychometric schizotypy in non-clinical individuals

Conscious Cogn. 2017 Jul;52:93-103. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.04.017. Epub 2017 May 10.


A recent study (Lemaitre et al., 2016, Consciousness and Cognition, 41, 64-71) found that non-clinical individuals who scored highly on a psychometric scale of schizotypy were able to tickle themselves. The present study aimed to extend this finding by investigating whether the ability to tickle oneself was associated with level of psychometric schizotypy considered as a continuous variable. One hundred and eleven students completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). A mechanical device delivered tactile stimulation to participants' palms. The device was operated by the experimenter (External) or the participant (Self). Participants were asked to rate the intensity, ticklishness and pleasantness of the stimulation. A significant association was observed between participants' tactile self-suppression (External minus Self) and their score on the SPQ. These results suggest that the ability to suppress the tactile consequences of self-generated movements varies across the general population, and maps directly onto the personality dimension of schizotypy.

Keywords: Corollary discharge; Delusions of control; Efference copy; Passivity experiences; Schizophrenia; Schizotypy; Tickling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / physiopathology
  • Touch Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult