ASMR is a sensory experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that usually starts on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It’s been compared to auditory-tactile synesthesia and is thought to be related to the frisson.
ASMR can be induced by a range of (usually) non-vocal stimuli, such as listening to slow, properly enunciated speech, tapping sounds, and/or receiving personal attention.
ASMR artists often use role-play settings or binaural microphones to generate their audios that simulate proximity to listeners. Playing with slime, tapping nails on glass, talking, chewing sounds, hair-brushing, and soap cutting are all common ASMR films, and the effect varies according to the listener.
There has been relatively little scientific research on ASMR’s prevalence, and the studies that have been done have been limited. The brain activity of those who experience ASMR in reaction to numerous triggers, such as whispering, tapping, and personal attention, was studied in a 2015 study.
The findings revealed that when people were experiencing ASMR, their left amygdala, right posterior cingulate cortex, and left cerebellum were activated less than when they weren’t. This suggests that ASMR is linked to selective activation of the brain’s parasympathetic division (northwest branch).
Enhanced empathy and unique cognitive patterns or mental states are the two most popular theories for what causes ASMR. The majority of published studies indicate that the former is a significant factor in the experience.
According to research by Barratt and Davis (2015), 98 percent of those who have ASMR also have at least one additional mental symptom, with nearly half matching the criteria for two or more psychiatric illnesses.
Read More: 8 Facts About Bulimia
According to a study by Gaurier et al. (2017), 96 percent of those who experience ASMR had the personality trait of neuroticism, which has been related to an elevated risk of anxiety and depression. Barratt and Davis‘ research, on the other hand, found no link between ASMR and increased incidence of psychopathology.
Only 12 ASMR videos surpassed one million views on YouTube in 2009. There were over 5.3 million ASMR videos with over 155 million views as of May 2017.
This is one of the reasons why it is so popular on YouTube. Whispering, tapping sounds, crinkling paper, and personal attention are all examples of triggers. The most typical movies have tapping sounds to generate tingles, followed by speaking to relax or aid sleep.
Table of Contents
Here are amazing 7 facts about ASMR:
1. Not everyone experiences ASMR
Some people are being affected by it, while others are not. One study looked into the effects of ASMR and discovered that ASMR films only increase pleasant sentiments among the experiencers, who also reported higher excitement and tranquility from its videos than non-experiencers.
Furthermore, individuals react to ASMR stimuli in different ways. Its stimuli have varied impacts on different people, and every one has distinct preferences for them. That explains why whispering can cause a tingling feeling but not chewing or other sounds.
Read More: 5 Important Facts About Autism
2. Bob Ross was the king of ASMR without even realizing it.
The famous TV series ‘The Joy of Painting,’ hosted by the late Bob Ross, is one of the most popular sources of ASMR for tingle-hunters. Bob Ross is well-known for his soft-spoken, friendly, and unflappable demeanor, which he uses to guide viewers through the process of painting landscapes step by step. The painter and presenter have almost 30 seasons of material available online.
3. Misophonia is associated with ASMR.
You may have misophonia if you identify as having an ASMR experience. Misophonia is an acute sensitivity to certain sounds. Misophonia may appear to be a serious disorder, yet it is quite common.
Participants in a study were asked to fill out three questionnaires indicating their chance of suffering from misophonia, and it was discovered that its experiencers had a higher tendency to suffer from misophonia than non-experiencers.
Although it is an excessive predilection for certain sounds, there is a link between ASMR and misophonia. Misophonia, on the other hand, is a strong aversion to some sounds.
4. Your mental health is improved by ASMR.
Watching ASMR videos can help us improve our mental health as well as our physical health. According to an ASMR study, up to 98 percent of its participants think that it helps them relax, and 70% believe it can help them relieve stress.
The study found that persons with moderate to severe depression benefited the most from ASMR films, with some even reporting a mood improvement. People with chronic pain improved their mental health in the same way as people with depression did.
5. When you watch ASMR videos, your pupils dilate.
You’ve surely heard that when you have a crush, your pupils dilate – well, ASMR accomplishes the same effect.
For example, in a 2019 eye-tracking study, researchers allowed ASMR experiencers and non-experiencers to watch two ASMR clips.
Researchers used an eye tracker to monitor pupil size while they watched the clips. Both ASMR experiencers and non-experiencers had a considerable increase in pupil size, which was surprising.
While several studies have shown that pupil dilation is linked to relaxation and tranquility, ASMR is also thought to have physiologic effects. Even non-experienced people reported increased pupil size while watching ASMR films, which is remarkable.
6. ASMR is good for your physical health.
Researchers allowed ASMR experiencers and non-experiencers to watch ASMR films and compare their physiological responses in a study released in 2018. The fact that ASMR experiencers’ heart rates were reduced but their skin conductance levels increased after watching ASMR films intrigued the research team.
Reduced heart rate and higher skin conductance levels might help us relax and sleep better, which is good for our physical health. Overall, the researchers found that ASMR films can elicit positive feelings, but only in people who have experienced ASMR.
Read More: Mental Agility: 10 Best Ways to Boost It
7. ASMR may help to connect different parts of the brain.
Your brain areas are connected when you feel the tingling sensation from whispering and chewing sounds! A recent study contrasted ASMR experiencers with non-experiencers in the default mode network (DMN), which is a collection of interconnected brain regions.
Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that those who can experience ASMR have more connectivity across brain regions in the occipital lobe, frontal lobe, and temporal cortices. When you listen to ASMR, the brain regions responsible for different tasks such as vision, memory, and hearing are all intertwined.