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The Science Behind ASMR

Posted by MrGamma 
The Science Behind ASMR
August 16, 2013 07:16PM
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response has been around quite some time now as people report these sensations going back as early childhood while watching television, or going about their daily routines. The primary response is the "tingles" which many people report as a pleasant sensation through the scalp and spine, which is sometimes faint and other times overwhelming, nearing the point of sensory orgasm.

There is little known about ASMR, and certainly much less recognized by the scientific community. Is ASMR safe? Yes. While some claim it is a type of pleasurable seizure, those who are hyper sensitive with 3D movies or video games and have been diagnosed with epilepsy may be susceptible to medical complications.

There are no nerve endings within the brain itself. The Tingles are a result of sensations felt in the surrounding muscle tissues, sensory organs and bones, where there are plenty of nerve endings. There are nerves which are directly connected with major sensory organs found within the brain, such as the ears, and eyes. When these nerves are stimulated, they may present a tingly sensation.

The Central Nervous System nerves connect the peripheral nerves found within the brain, sensory organs, the surrounding muscle, and bone tissues. Viewers often report a tingling sensation, or shiver which runs down their spine the reason being is the Central Nervous System is pleasantly stimulated.

Read more about nerves here. [health.howstuffworks.com]

The vibrations of sound carried through your headphones or speakers are received by your ears and sometimes are carried through other sensory organs in a phenomenon called synesthesia. Viewers who report synesthesia feelings may sense smells triggered through the ASMR sounds, although rare.

Read more about synesthesia here [faculty.washington.edu]

Sensitivity plays a major factor in whether one will feel the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Those who are taking medications, may effectively be anesthetizing themselves with anesthetics. Common anesthetics include Diazepam, Lorazepam, and Midazolam. While there is little evidence which supports any specific drug from prohibiting one from the ASMR *tingles*, there is evidence which supports the practice of proper nutrition, sensitizing or optimizing the nervous system.

Read more about anesthesia [en.wikipedia.org] here.

Brain and nervous system health foods which may prove beneficial with improving the sensory meridian response are, Omega 3 fish oils. The reduction of other foods in your diet such as Fluoride may help with brain sensitivity as well.

Read more about the benefits of Omega 3's here.


Read more about flouride and the effects on the central nervous system here.


Empathy may play a major role as well, especially when mirror neurons are thought of. Spiritual experiences may base some of their theories with this modern research.

Read more about mirror neurons here. [en.wikipedia.org]

These few facts do very little with explaining optimal Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response experiences, and the technologies used in delivering the tingles, is often times a 3d microphone, binaural or holophonic sound tracks.

Read more about holophonic sound here. [en.wikipedia.org]

Music has long been known as a creative booster, intelligence enhancer, and holistic healing practice. Music soothes the savage soul and Autonomous Meridian Sensory Response is no exception! With an ever increasingly complex world with modern technologies and spiritual practices, ASMR is the perfect new media experience which belongs with everyone.

See some of the newest AMSR videos here [www.asmrstudio.com]

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2016 01:06PM by MrGamma.
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
August 20, 2014 02:08PM
This is a terrific start to trying to understand the science of ASMR. I have also been trying to understand it.

I listed out almost all of the triggers and responses for ASMR to see if there were any patterns that fit some human behaviors with known physiology - and sure enough one stood out: inter-personal bonding.

Inter-personal bonding is what happens between infants and parents, between close friends and between romantic partners - these all seem to share most of the triggers and responses for ASMR: soft vocals, whispering, eye-gazing, light touches, euphoria, tingles, and deep feelings of comfort, relaxation, trust, elevated mood, and sleepiness.

And the molecular basis for bonding is basically understood: endorphins drive the euphoria and tingles, oxytocin drives the comfort, relaxation and trust, and serotonin drives the elevated mood. And they all may work together to induce sleepiness if someone is already tired.

So ASMR seems to be an activation and awareness of the physiological pathways involved in inter-personal bonding.

I have gone into much more detail of this theory here: www.asmruniversity.com at the link called "Origin Theory of ASMR".

I hope this contributes to discussions about ASMR and may be helpful to those looking to do some research on ASMR.

Regards, Craig Richard (Dr. Richard of www.asmruniversity.com)
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
September 15, 2014 06:48PM
Hi I get Asmr without any trigger. Just by thinking of an area is that ok
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
July 28, 2015 03:02AM
Another possibility is, the idea that we evolved from Chimaera.

Chimaeras of the Deep


Scientists in some boats, seem to prefer the idea that the family of Sharks, Stingrays, and Chimaeras are the best candidates.

Humans evolved from a prehistoric SHARK from 300m years ago


Well, they have something called Ampullae of Lorenzini. BTW, the guy who discovered those has an interesting biography and history.
Ampullae of Lorenzini, are bio-electric sensors. There are papers on the web, which if you search for them, you discover that cold increases the activity of those sensors. So roughly one might consider temperature and bio-electric activity related with each other.

The deep sea fish, our ancestors navigate the seas using the magnetic field of the earth, and we as humans use these same sensors, yet they lay dormant. Possible.
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
January 26, 2016 01:23PM
Another possibility is that we experience some type of pleasurable seizure event, which is an immune system healing response. There are some who feel that vibrations in a bio-electrical organism are a type of seizure event.

Read more about that here. -> Epileptic Vibrations - Dangerous Hypothesis -> [forums.asmr.fm]

There are a few mentions on reddit and other forums discussing the possibility of seizures.


I watch a lot of asmr videos on my spare time to help me relax and I wanted to know if there was any way that this could badly trigger my epilepsy.
I have partial complex temporal lobe seizures, unmedicated as of right now. I was on Keppra and stopped due to insane emotional distress. I want to make sure I'm not making my seizures worse by accident.



Steven Novella, a neuroscientist and assistant professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, wrote about ASMR on his blog The Ness, speculating

Perhaps ASMR is a type of seizure. Seizures can sometime be pleasurable, and can be triggered by these sorts of things. Or, ASMR could just be a way of activating the pleasure response. Vertebrate brains are fundamentally hardwired for pleasure and pain – for positive and negative behavioral feedback.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2016 01:30PM by MrGamma.
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
February 03, 2016 06:00PM
I'm sorry, but much of this information is utterly wrong. It's obvious that these "scientists" do not experience ASMR; they are describing Frisson. Frisson happens to everyone, usually with music or something emotionally beautiful, i.e. triggered by emotional music and film most commonly or light touch, but everyone has their triggers. There is NO shiver with ASMR - it's like someone ran a static electrical wand over the sides of your head and all your hairs stand up - then expands up the head, down the body into the legs if it's really powerful. With that, your heart slows, and you go into almost a trance state of relaxation.

Trance state as in you can barely move or talk, hypnotic state almost or at least very, very sedated and relaxed, almost euphoric. You don't want it to stop. (I'm a hypnotist, not throwing that word around)! It is definitely NOT stimulating or invigorating like beautiful music, (swell of violins at a particular point in an emotional movie) is.....quite the opposite. It also is NOT triggered by anything emotional, that again is frisson. It is by certain sounds and certain methodical movements by other people - an energy feel. The sounds aren't musical, - more like crinkly paper, whispering, wet mouth sounds, there are TONS of audio triggers. Real ASMR is NOT resulting from having your hair played with or being touched. The A stands for autonomic, meaning it's the "unconscious" part of the nervous system, not triggered by touch, it's by a sense other than touch, notably auditory or visual. Goosebumps can happen with a light touch, but that is not ASMR - that's also Frisson (French word for shiver). I hope this helps explain it. I am seeing way too many people confusing the common frisson for ASMR. Think static electricity - hair like Einstein, LOL!

This is the best explanation I have seen: [en.wikipedia.org]
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
April 18, 2016 08:49PM
We have created an overlaid sound series with no visual stimulation that is giving users crazy amounts of tingles. This would lead to the fact that it has less to do with the visual piece of asmr and more to do with audio that links us to our past?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2016 08:56PM by ASMResource.
Re: The Science Behind ASMR
April 29, 2016 01:59PM
ASMR is such an intresting science than I can't get over of. smiling smiley
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