close
Advertisement

The sensory video craze sweeping YouTube: A guide to ASMR

If your brain "tingles" while watching videos of someone eating a pickle, carving soap, whispering softly, brushing their hair, tapping their fingernails, and so on, you may be experiencing Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).

 Maria produces YouTube videos that induce Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), a tingling sensation. She is the most viewed and subscribed 'ASMRtist' on YouTube.
Getty Images

Does watching a video of someone eating a pickle or gently brushing their hair leave you feeling almost euphoric?

If so, you are not alone.

It’s called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) - also known as the 'brain tingles' or ‘braingasms’ - and it’s become something of a phenomenom lately.

Advertisement
Just what is ASMR?
Just what is ASMR?
Getty Images

In a nutshell, ASMR is the very pleasurable and relaxing sensation that occurs when some of us listen to soft sounds such as whispers or finger tapping.

“It… is associated with a pleasant tingly feeling on the scalp and back of the neck,” explains Nick Davis, PhD, a psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK.

This buzz may also travel down the spine, and can spread to the back, arms, and legs, he says.

Déjà vu is a similar brain sensation.  And there’s a similar reaction in some people when they listen to music. I

f you get chills listening to music, there’s some evidence that your brain may be wired for stronger emotions and you may have stronger emotional intelligence.

People with ASMR report a boost in mood immediately, Davis says.

“It seems to last for several hours after watching the video.”

It’s different strokes for different folks when it comes to the sounds and visual cues that trigger brain tingles, but whispering, hair being played with or brushed, and soft talking seem to be top ASMR triggers.

“In a study, we found that people like low-pitched sounds and detailed activity, while people tended to find that background music made it harder to experience ASMR,” Davis says.



Advertisement
The weirdest news stories of 2017
20 best thrillers you won’t be able to put down

20 best thrillers you won’t be able to put down

Looking for a gripping thriller to read over the holidays? We asked our readers to tell us the best thriller they’ve ever read and why – and we’ve collated the responses to produce this list of must-read titles for your next break. Enjoy.
16 things that will happen once Queen Elizabeth II dies

16 things that will happen once Queen Elizabeth II dies

This is one thing the British people - and royal watchers everywhere - don’t want to think about.
This is what a near-death experience really feels like, according to science

This is what a near-death experience really feels like, according to science

A new study reveals what kind of things you’re likely to see and feel when you have a brush with death—and in what order.
13 coolest scientific discoveries of the year

13 of the coolest scientific discoveries of the year

From new planets to DNA breakthroughs to whale earwax, 2018 has been filled with fascinating scientific stories.

Advertisement