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Lakewood Times

    Science behind ASMR

    Photo courtesy of
    Photo courtesy of

    ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The recent name given to the elusive sensations of tingles one feels when their sense of hearing is stimulated. IT is most cited to help those relax and fall asleep. Though, it is a mystery on just how it can do this.


    The community of ASMR is heavily based on the Internet as video makers have found common triggers. Some draw millions of views and returning viewers. “ASMR” became a term coined up in 2010 to help identify the seemingly indescribable sensation.


    The concept is barely known and how it causes the response. It has been speculated to cause a release of endorphin, but that speculation has been labeled as a weak reasoning. Only one research paper has been published on this phenomenon.

    The paper—Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state—was written by Emma L Barratt and Nick J Davis in 2015. They surveyed 475 and people who reported experiencing ASMR.

    They utilized eight questions from the Flow State Scale, a measurement invented to gauge experiences of individuals during an activity. From that they found that 98% used ASMR media to relax. 70% used it to lessen stress and lastly, 82% said they used it for sleep.

    There’s a misconception that ASMR is a sexual fetish, due to many ASMRists being young women. The idea of sexual stimulation being one’s response is not unheard, but is far from the majority at 5% of those surveyed.

    The seventeen page paper delves into just what could be the cause of such response. It is speculated that it is a form of synesthesia, as the condition causes an internal response from external stimuli.

    But it is all speculation as nothing is tested, not in behavioral sciences or sleep studies. It is at this just a trend slowly becoming mainstream. Those who feel it just hope to have explanation to their recently named condition., but for now they just keep calm and tingle on.

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