The world is divided into two types of people:
those that experience ASMR, and those that don’t!
Maybe it was the voice of your first grade teacher that initially triggered a similar sensation in you? Perhaps you go to get a haircut more often than others because you feel the tingly sensation spreading all over your body, when the attentive stylist gently washes your hair.
But all this is old news, isn’t it? Because one night, anxious and unable to sleep, you hopped on YouTube and landed on a whisper video…. And just like that you’ve discovered that others also respond in a similar way to head massages and certain voices because just like you they have ASMR.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s not a scientific name because at this time there are no studies conducted on the effects of ASMT triggers on the brain. And it makes it harder to quantify because not everyone responds to ASMR. According to Novella (2012):
“What we need at this point,” writes Steven Novella, Director of General Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine, on his Neuroscience blog, “are functional MRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies that look at what is happening in the brains of people while experiencing ASMR versus typical controls. Are their brains really different, and in what way? I also wonder if the same or similar experience can be artificially induced in typical (non-ASMR) people.“
Jeff Thomson (2013), the creator of a popular ASMR website, The ASMR Lab, mentions seven common triggers ASMRtists use in their films:
(2) Scratching and tapping;
(4) Turning pages;
(5) Personal attention;
(6) Touching head (for instance, head massage or hair brushing);
(7) Bob Ross! — a painter, and a star of The Joy of Painting, an American PBS program, who apparently has induced virginal ASMR responses in tingleheads across the world. Bob’s tantalizing paint-smearing technique, and his calming and positive narration that is often centers on trivialities (such as squirrels or cherry tomatoes), keeps Ross’ videos popular among tingle-hunters even after his death.
Image via FiveThirtyEight.com
And here’s an example of one of the coolest, in my opinion, ASMR videos out there:
(This blog post is modified version of a White Paper written previously by the author)
Novella, S. (2012, March 12). NeuroLogica Blog » ASMR. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/asmr/
Thomson, J. (n.d.). ASMR Triggers – Common ASMR triggers that cause tingles | The ASMR Lab. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://www.asmrlab.com/common-asmr-triggers/