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ASMR: what we know so far about this unique brain phenomenon – and what we don't

https://theconversation.com/asmr-what-we-know-so-far-about-this-unique-brain-phenomenon-and-what-we-dont-135106

theconversation.com

ASMR: what we know so far about this unique brain phenomenon – and what we don't
It's been ten years since the term was coined. Here's what researchers know so far.

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Autonomous sensory meridian response - ASMR

Autonomous sensory meridian response - ASMR

ASMR is an emotional state that some people experience when they hear, see, and feel certain "triggers," such as whispering, delicate hand movements, and light touch.

The feeling is described as a tingling sensation that starts from the top of the head and spreads down the neck and limbs. Feelings of euphoria and relaxation accompany this "trance-like" state.

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ASMR: Common triggers

ASMR typically emerges in childhood. When people find out that ASMR is a "thing", they often report that they thought everyone had the same experience or that it was unique to them.

Common triggers include soft touch, whispering, soft-speaking, close attention, delicate hand movements, and crisp sounds. Situations that induce ASMR are often a combination of these triggers, such as getting a haircut or watching someone complete a mundane task.

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Brain tingles

One study showed that periods of ASMR tingling were associated with increased activation in brain regions involved in emotion, empathy, and affiliative behaviors.

Other studies show that people with ASMR have less distinct and more blended neural networks, suggesting that ASMR could happen because of a reduced ability to suppress emotional responses that we obtain from our senses.

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ASMR and a higher openness to experience

Research suggests that people who experience ASMR have a larger tendency to have more immersive or absorbing experiences.

People with ASMR score higher on 'openness to experience,' reflecting imagination, intellectual curiosity, and appreciation of art and beauty. People with ASMR are also more empathetic when looking at compassion and concern for others.

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ASMR as a therapy tool

People with ASMR show significant reductions in their heart rates when watching ASMR videos.

These stress reductions were similar to those experienced during mindfulness and music therapy. But research is not clear whether ASMR can and should be used as an effective form of therapy.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

ASMR 

ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is a pleasurable feeling or a sensation that people experience during a stimulating audio-visual activity, that is relaxing and deeply personal, ...

ASMR: The tingling sensation

ASMR is a personal, individual experience, with very little science behind it. People enjoy a deeply relaxing whispering video or a role-play, which gives them a tingling sensation on the back of their head and spine. It may be a mundane, monotonous activity like tapping, stirring, or crinkling objects, but they kick in a pleasure sensation in many.

The feeling varies and is somewhat similar to a sexual turn-on, in many cases.

Having ASMR

People get tingles through different kinds of sensory inputs.

Some people find out at an early age that they feel a therapeutic high when they are touched or tickled and love the attention they are given.

Others find that some simple activities or role-plays put them in a trance-like state. 

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The Flow State

Flow is characterized by complete concentration in the activity at hand, resulting in a loss in one’s sense of space and time. It’s a state of both high challenge and high skill—a place where we’re...

The Six Parts of A Flow State

  1. Intense concentration on the task at hand.
  2. A merging of action and awareness - “being and doing become one”.
  3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness.
  4. A sense of personal control over the situation.
  5. A distortion of the perception of time.
  6. Autotelic experience: the activity itself is intrinsically rewarding, rather than the expected outcome.

What Flow Is Not

  • It’s not easyFlow is not just a state where we love the work so much it just pours out. Flow is a state where hard work meets joy and meaning. 
  • It’s not for beginners. The act of learning how to do something won’t always allow us to get into the flow. Getting into the zone in a specific discipline is something that needs to be learned and practiced.

Seeking silence

As our internal and external environments become louder and louder, more people are beginning to seek out silence, whether through a practice of sitting quietly for 10 minutes every morning or head...

Silence relieves tension

Noise pollution may lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as impairing hearing and overall health. Loud noises raise stress levels by activating the brain’s amygdala and causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, according to research.

Silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body.

Silence and our mental resources

The constant attentional demands of modern life put a significant burden on the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in high-order thinking, decision-making and problem-solving.

When we can finally get away from these sonic disruptions, our brains’ attention centers have the opportunity to restore themselves.