ASMR Science – Is there any science behind ASMR?

In short ASMR is not a scientific concept, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, might sound like a phrase from a science text book but that isn’t where it’s origins lie at all (check out our history page for more details). At the moment it really comes down to anecdotal evidence that it even exists, and individual’s personal guesses at an explanation. When people talk about ASMR science they are generally just speculating.

Steven Novella probably summed it the best over at his blog Neurologica:

“is it real? In this case, I don’t think there is a definitive answer, but I am inclined to believe that it is. There are a number of people who seem to have independently (that is always the key, but it is a recent enough phenomenon that this appears to be true) experienced and described the same syndrome with some fairly specific details. In this way it’s similar to migraine headaches – we know they exist as a syndrome primarily because many different people report the same constellation of symptoms and natural history.”

– You can read the full post here:

So where does that leave ASMR? That is for you to decide for yourself, but most people that have experienced the feeling will be convinced that it is certainly real. It hasn’t been tested yet, so there isn’t a lot of reason to doubt the vast numbers of reports. Just because something hasn’t been proven yet doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Many people link ASMR to spirituality and related practices, in a similar way that many people include meditation in their practice of spirituality. It is important to note that there is scientific evidence of the positive effects of meditation as well. One day there will hopefully be research to back up ASMR and fill us in on the science behind it all.

  • Rae Griffin

    Love it!

  • Elysium Echo

    If I could make a suggestion, it would be absolutely great if you could incorporate any information from the Dartmouth study performed this year (spring 2013). I heard that they were supposed to be publishing a report in May, but I was unable to find it…

    • Jeff Thomson

      Thanks, it doesn’t look like anything has been published from that study as yet. I’m certainly keeping my eye out for the results though, and will definitely include them when they’re available.

    • Beth

      I know your post was about a year ago, but I just wanted to post that it has been published now under the title “Touched Through a Screen: putative neural correlates of autonomous sensory meridian response” by Bryson C. Lochte. I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t have any of the information from it, but it is available in print through the library (It would be through an interlibrary loan at my library, not sure if many other libraries carry it).

      • Elysium Echo

        Thanks Beth, that’s awesome! I’ve found the cite, so I’m definitely going to look into this when I have more time. Cheers ;-)

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  • Gideon Waxfarb

    ASMR is like an orgasm (figuratively, not literally)… if you’ve experienced it, you know it :) Some people think it is some elaborate hoax that the internet has made up. However, many of us have experienced it since childhood, before we ever knew that others had the same feeling. For whatever reason, many of us never thought to ask others about it, even if we ourselves might’ve watched or did things to intentionally trigger it.
    I hope science/neurology is able to figure out what causes it, because this is something that everyone should be able to experience for themselves. Next to an orgasm, there is nothing quite like it. The closest feeling that even comes close for me is the goosebumps you get if you were really cold, stepped into a hot shower, and then peed :P

    • Markus Hamilton

      Since I was a child I have had the unique ability to spontaneously create goose bumps all over my body at will. Over time I have learned to control it and only manifest goosebumps on one side of my body or another. I’ve asked everyone I ever met if they could do this – no one could. I described it as a sense of amazement and wonder that one feels when they experience happy goose bumps. It starts at the point where my first vertebrae meets the skull. It feels like I am squirting something from inside my skull down the spinal cord. It flows at a rate of about 2-3 seconds from skull to fingertips. If I concentrate for a full body rush it take about 3-5 seconds to obtain goosebumps on my feet. If ever there is a clinical trial and somebody wants to scan me, I think my ability to control the start point would be valuable. Please post if anyone knows of any clinical trials.

      • Alessandro

        I’m shocked right this instant i truly can relate to you. I also can trigger goosebumps at will. When i ask others if they have this phenomenon they all say they don’t experience this, but now i finally found someone that can relate to me.

        • Markus Hamilton

          This is amazing. Great news. Please tell me you don’t live in Spain or far away. Every new person I meet at a party I eventually get around to asking. Now that I actually write that down I bet it sounds kind of creepy to them. Haha. I have always wanted to have my brain actively scanned while doing this. I’d like to find out what location in the body this originates from. It always feels like the base of the neck except for when I do it on an arm or a leg or a bicep and then it feels like it starts from some kind of node… By that I mean that I do not feel it in the base of my neck or spine just at the location that I am thinking about. Thank you for replying and let us make a pact to at least visit each other in the crazy house one day.

          • SSJwiggy

            This is awesome. I’ve been able to trigger this manually for as long as I can remember and just started wondering about it 2 days ago. I’m 27 and was shocked to learn not everyone can do it, because I assumed they could but never asked anyone. It’s cool to read other people’s experiences regarding this phenomenon, especially since everyone describes exactly how it feels to me. I’ve been googling and searching around for as much information as possible.

        • Alan Aranda

          I’ve been trying to trigger them at will, but i can’t. My ASMR is only triggered when watching people cleaning something meticulously and that’s not easy to find. Youtube videos about cleaning won’t help me that much.

      • Paco Don Canapé

        Dude I can so do that as well, and I experience it in the same exact way as you do! Although mine only get from the top of the spine to the waist and no longer…

      • Tim Stachecki-Okrah

        I started out thinking it could only happen in my feet. I could produce it at will, anytime I relaxed. I noticed that it took concentration and usually required that I hold my breath. With some practice I was able to do it while exhaling, but both of these obviously limited the duration of the sensation because I need to breathe. More practice and now I can do it lightly in my feet and hands. Then something amazing happened. Someone told me about chakras. The location being the forehead, sternum and groin. I’m a huge skeptic of unscientific unproven or unquantifiable stuff, but when I tried to focus my (ASMR) or whatever on these three areas the sensation ramped up so much it left me shaking and the experience was amplified to be a whole body vibration. I’m clueless whats happening, but I obviously have some learning to do.

    • Marshall Homi

      Or just neurons firing in sequence that are triggered by familiar memories. ASMR is similar to you being scared of spiders, or smelling something like burgers when you think about it. Its nothing special, its a new method for people to market memory response to stimuli that we have known for years. Like how you compare it to an orgasm, I could induce one with memory of a previous orgasm by discussing how the smell, taste, feel, sounds, etc. Replicate it to a video, and you will a high chance of it occurring. ASMR is bullshit, its the same as Qi Gong, spiritual healing of prayer, you name it. But hey, in this crazy world, I guess people will do anything to make themselves comfortable.

      • Gideon Waxfarb

        I don’t know about anyone else, but I never claimed there was anything spiritual about ASMR. It’s just a very pleasant physical sensation that somebody finally gave a name to – nothing more, nothing less.

        So I really don’t know what you mean when you say it’s bullshit. I suspect either you mean ASMR doesn’t exist (which would mean thousands of us just individually made it up) or that somebody finally gave it a name.

      • Subham

        2 years might be so late for this thread..
        I have some views on whatever I experience during this “ASMR”:

        The first time I got goosebumps(that I remember) it was while watching an epic movie scene, and it was accompanied by the tingling sensation that some people here (like the 14-year-old me) felt like “electricity” surging down from head to toe. What else did the 14-year-old-me believe: that one day I will be able to shoot lightning from my finger tips. :P

        So the first time it happened, it felt good and I wanted to reproduce it. The point-of-origin felt like I could control it. Much like a limb, or the diaphragm, or your eyebrows. Now I could cause the sensations at a WHIM, no focussed thoughts or external stimuli whatsoever.

        Then I got bored of it, and one day I found I could no longer find the control. Felt like trying to control a missing limb. I had to watch another movie (Passengers 2016) to trigger it naturally, and find the control again.

        I believe its bullshit if its based on unscientific grounds, but if its just a different method of existing phenomenon.. we got to name it something, since its so different. Many ASMR-claimers also say they have fine motor controls that are uncommon. Like being able to change eye-focus(naturally, our eyes try to focus ON an object, not in front of it,) or being able to control muscles in the internal ear. I am not as interested in ASMR, as I am in this related topic

  • Posting Intensifies

    It’s really strange thing. Till somebody look at this at MRI, we are just speculating. I understand, why people are skeptical. But when you feel something, that I could compare to intensity of orgasm, you can’t doubt. I belive, that future reaserch will bring some answers, because this is one totally interesting thing. (Sorry for my mistakes)

  • Miles West

    I can’t tell you how happy and actually relieved I was when I heard about ASMR first on the program Radio Lab. I didn’t realize it had a name. I suppose I’ve been experimenting with ASMR since I was a kid. I can go into the mode at will. I used to try to share the experience with others by making goosebumps on my arms at will. Now as an adult, with an understand of basic meditation and of cognitive behavioral therapy principles I use ASMR to over come anxieties and fears. I really believe that when you’re in an ASMR state it allow rewiring of the brain and also provides a hit of serotonin. I feel happy and smile right after I do it. I want to get involved in the studies.

  • gregdoryt

    ASMR is indeed real, at least subjectively, arguably also objectively. Being it true that many people share this experience, we can automatically state that indeed there is something to ASMR that is true. The experience itself is true, a sensation properly basic to the individual, and common enough between different individuals to consider it an objective truth and thus also real. Just as the majority of humans look up and see a blue sky, if the majority experience the same sensation given the same stimuli, we can justly call it a real experience. It does nothing, however, to speak of any causal chain for that experience. And given that the majority of people do NOT experience positive ASMR, it is difficult to confirm objectivity.

    But one aspect of ASMR is common enough to consider it to be objectively real: the negative reaction people have to fingernails on a chalkboard or scraping a fork on a ceramic plate. The majority of humans share this negative experience, which seems to be related to ASMR in the described cause and correlated experience.

    However, one thing I was contemplating recently about ASMR is the fact that some of us get the shivers (the negative reaction) just THINKING about fingernails on a chalkboard. This seems to point to an internal cause, independent of any actual sound produced at the time one experiences the sensation. It seems to me that the effect is known, and the effect is an objective truth, but the causal chain is yet underdeveloped.

    This is how we should indeed view ASMR: it is not a matter of whether it is “real” or not. It is indeed real, to certain individuals. The similar negative reaction is real to most individuals. The actual cause of ASMR is to be left in the unknown category. That does not make it any less real. Just as we know the universe is expanding, but do not exactly know for sure how this expansion started, lacking an explanation for a phenomenon does not permit us to just ignore and doubt the phenomenon when it can be objectively observed and verified.

    The observation of the sensation is real, and even without going into solipsism, we can regard our observations and sensations as properly basic and thus true/real without any other evidence. The scientific pursuit is therefore to not prove that these sensations are real. People have them. They know the sensations are real.

    Rather science needs to explain not only why sound seems a consistent stimuli, but also why just the memory of that sound can invoke the negative reaction (maybe even the positive ASMR as well). I posit that the reason we have these sensations is because the way our mind forms memories of sounds has threshold limitations, and when these thresholds are exceeded, the memory sort of feeds back on itself when one tries to recollect that memory, causing a reaction that ends with the release of certain chemicals that leads to the pleasurable effect.

    It seems that when the sound-wave, when converted into impulses to be encoded as memory, has certain features, the wave form our memory tries to record exceeds the boundaries of our normal capability for accurately remembering sound in that memory system. The recollection of that memory then triggers an overflow situation (sort of like when a computer runs out of ram because a process keeps pumping new data into itself, which creates more data, and causes that memory requirement to get increasingly larger).

    It may be a flaw of the human mind’s memory process that causes ASMR. What should happen is that when sounds that have overlapping features that quickly evolve and repeat are forming new short-term memories, the memory allocation should increase automatically. For people that experience ASMR, the memory allocation is instead locked by our subconscious expectation of the illusory simplicity of the sound, and thus gets overloaded as more detail is assimilated into that memory.

    Given the relaxation factor of the experience, the overload must somehow also result in the release of certain chemicals like dopamine into the system. Just as people get relaxed listening to waves crash onto the shore of a beach, ASMR seems to be just an accelerated version of this process, compressing the same longer process into a much shorter time frame. This results in a more dramatic brain chemistry change.

    This hypothesis would be rather difficult to test in certain aspects. We can test for changes in chemistry, but that is only the end of the causal chain. We can test for what sounds are effective, but that is only the other end of that same chain, and may be independent of the end of that chain since memory of the sound itself can trigger the response (at least in the negative reaction).

    So what one would really need to look at is how the mind records sound, how it processes sound, and how it allocates memory for sound when more detail is presented in the same instance. I certainly do not think it is a hoax, but the causal chain may not be as direct as the ASMR sensitive people think. In the end, we can presume a solipsistic truth about the experience, that it is real because we have a real experience. Moving this out of solipsism to objective independent reality also seems justified considering commonalities with other individual experiences.

    • Jodi

      When I experience it, it’s usually because I genuinely am looking for a new makeup tutorial and then it just happens. Actually, when I’m looking to experience it, it doesn’t come as easily.

      • corazontex

        Yes! Same for me. None of these youtube videos of ppl trying to make the experience happen work for me. It has to be ppl just doing things on their own not ASMR vids.

  • maxresonance

    I’m not sure i fit into the ASMR model exactly, but I have a bunch of exercises and ‘gadgets’ that allow me to access similar states whenever I feel like it. My most recent discovery is what I call ‘the Nose Buzz,” although along the lines of humming, purring, motorboating the lips, the Razzberry (Bronx Cheer) and my homegrown toys, the Thwizzler, the Donkey Gruntler, The Thwisher and other body-mind favorites. Most of these are described online by clicking ‘exercises’ on this page:
    A fast link to one of my favorites:
    Recently I developed the Nose Buzz after searching on line and finding this quote in response to suggestions on how to trigger a sneeze:
    “The easiest way is to put the tips of your fingers over your nostrils and hum, allowing just enough air to escape so that you can keep humming. Your nose will buzz and that makes you sneeze. Hope I helped!”

    This is very close to the Nose Buzz description that follows. It’s the ONLY thing I know that’s shudderingly THE most bliss-inducing to the point of putting my whole body into spasms of knee-knocking delight. So obviously pick a safe place to sit, and don’t do it while driving, etc. Then:

    Place the tips of the thumb and forefinger over the openings of the nostrils such as to block them completely. Start humming through the nose and then loosen the fingertips enough to allow some air to escape. Move the fingertips around until you begin to trigger an intense vibration that tingles up your nose, over your head and down your back. It may take some adjustment of the fingertips until you get it right.

    I think you’ve just stimulated the subtle nerves known in yoga as the Ida and Pingala. Or at least I think that’s what’s happening. Also — it’s a great way to trigger a sneeze!

  • rob

    of course there is a science behind the phenomenon; it just hasn’t been put through the method yet…

  • TwoFeetThick

    Oh, I definitely KNOW it exists. I’ve had this sensation my whole life, for as long as I can remember. Whenever I’ve asked anyone I know if they experience it, they’ve looked at me like I was crazy. I can sometimes trigger weak ones just by thinking about it, but my biggest trigger is watching someone else do some sort of task, especially if that task involves sounds like crackling or shuffling paper, or if the person is speaking softly at the same time (The “s” and “k” sounds as they talk can be especially strong triggers, sending waves from the back of my head, down my spine and, if it’s a good one, all the way down the sides of my body and/or down my arms). Much to my amusement after finding this site, watching Bob Ross has always done it. I used to watch him specifically for that effect. Soft-spoken female voices are a sure trigger, though it can happen with male voices as well.

    Now that I know what this is, I’ve got a lot of reading to do!

    • corazontex

      That’s it, the s sounds do it for me too. SO amazing. Some of the ppl who posted on here are trying really hard to figure out or be part of this. As soon as I read yours I knew exactly. Your triggers are just like mine. Idk about calling it ASMR, its just “that feeling” to me.

  • C. Richard Ph.D.

    As a physiologist and researcher, I think the science and research is hindered by not knowing where to start.

    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, tingles, and deep feelings of comfort, relaxation, trust, elevated mood, and sleepiness.

    And the molecular basis for bonding is basically understood: endorphins drive the tingles and some of the relaxation, 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: at the link called Origin Theory of ASMR. I hope this is helpful to someone looking to initiate some scientific research into ASMR.

    • Emma Bain

      I agree it’s a bonding thing from when a boy who i’m friends with used to tickle my back in primary (like in the earlier years of primary), but i think it’s an appriciation thing too like how you would masage your partners back just because you wanted to, to make them feel happy and calm, you appricate that person so you start just tracing on their back because you feel close to that person. It’s definitely a way of relaxation and calming too, we all still have that innocent inner child of our selves, a part of us that nobody can ever touch so even as adults we need to be comforted, most people do it for sleep purposes and it can get rough knowing nobody is there to comfort you, these feelings just fill that place for a little while when we watch ASMR videos, i hate yet again though someone labels something…labels are for closed minded people… because they always misinterprit the labels as some sort of psychotic condition.

      It’s just a feeling and i don’t want people to blow it out of proportion like they do with everything… i’ve only just discovered i can feel it, i’m not even goin to tell my parents about this because it’s pretty much the only thing that has managed to get me to sleep earlier, for the past 2 days there is already instant results, i only watched 1 video too, i can’t watch any more for now it was that intense for me, but i never knew i could feel that intense by voluntarily making it happen, for a while i’ve been trying to find something that does and i think this is it. Definitely makes me feel super comforted, relaxed, less stress… maybe a little too relaxed because the sleepy effects have lasted about 2 days now… lol but it’s good because it got me to sleep earlier last night.

    • Faithless415

      It’s interesting that you mention endorphins. I had a very typical history with ASMR from early childhood. However, due to a chronic daily pain condition, I am now forced to take so many painkillers that a couple of different doctors have remarked that I probably don’t produce any appreciable levels of endorphins anymore. And the ASMR is gone. Not even Bob Ross has any effect anymore. Once I actually learned that ASMR was a “real thing” that other people had, I had an idea that endorphins might be involved somehow, especially after I was no longer susceptible. I’m glad someone else has the same idea.

    • Andrew Van Dyke

      This IS about interpersonal bonding and maternal child bonding in particular. I literally came across ASMR video and ASMR concept an hour or two ago and am fascinated by what I have discovered already. The last time I experienced these feelings and sensations and familiar voice was when my mother was putting me to sleep. I do much of the same thing now putting my children to sleep. It is a wonderful re-experiencing of childhood innocence, lessened responsibility, and freedom. The “tingles” were always the bonus and mom could trigger them every time shed touch right behind my ear and neck. I would quess that different people have different sensitivities to ASMR based on different attachment patterns and early childhood maternal bonding experiences. I am also a psychologist.


      • dreamcrusher

        I am also a psychologist, who happens to have the unnamed feeling, and I completely disagree that it has anything to do with interpersonal bonding. I have found that ppl who tend to have addictive personalities experience it often, what is being discussed above is no doubt something real I just disagree that it is what the phrase ASMR is referring to. IMO.

    • cdrake

      Interesting, I myself experience Asmr but am a product of very little to no interpersonal bonding (mother with postpartum depression, I was never breastfed, and my father on navy cruises for 6 months every year till I was 9)

  • Emma Bain

    This is a very real thing and it’s not like an orgasm at all it’s not a sexual thing, on sunday i was just looking at relaxation videos, i guess i found it through these videos about these people cracking peoples bodies to relieve pain (which scared me lol), then i got thinking about how unrelaxed i always am and how i really liked my back being tickled as a kid so i looked up back tickling and found lots of channels for this ASMR, didn’t know what it was… i thought maybe some bad diesese or something… so i clicked on one called WhispersRedASMR and i found a video for back tickling.

    I always felt tingly with certain scenes of programmes or movies or with certain voices or sounds i knew that… but never really thought about why but i know i like it, i sat here on Sunday night late in the early hours (because my sleeping is awful i go to bed at 7:30am most nights and get up at 5pm sometimes almost 6pm if i’m more tired, i always take up to an hour to fall asleep in my bed even when i’m tired, just slowly… dose off. The video was actually making me feel really shivery like when your cold but kind a more pleasirable deeper kind of shiver and it was making me feel really giggly, i paused it a couple of times to look up what ASMR is but while i did i continued to experience shivers anticipating the woman tickling the girls back with her fingers like you would do as a child (it was one for childhood memories), she was whispering too as she did it.

    After about 15 – 20 mins i started feeling on top of the world, totallly euphoric, happy, relaxed, light and wonderful like i just took a hot bath or meditated, i really reached that intense state, back tickling is one of my triggures because a friend used to do it to me in primary and it really tickled but i love it, it’s very calming, i’m still ticklish lol. After the euphoria wore off i was then really sleepy so a little bit after that i went to sleep, what got me though was i can’t possibly watch any more videos because the effects are very lasting for me, last night (monday night), i actually felt tired and started falling asleep at 5:15am then finally i went to bed at 5:45am (that’s more than 2 hours earlier than every night before that). I’m completely shocked and even tongiht i’m feeling like i will probably dose off earlier tonight too. So this is VERY real, i feel it and it’s that euphoric for me it lasts a few days.

    • corazontex

      That is not ASMR.

      • enchantedsleeper

        Who says?

  • StreyDawg

    I am a primary care provider and I would like to recommend this for my patients, but the lack of supporting evidence is an obstacle. I am also a researcher, but this kind of research is impossible to do without funding. I would love to recruit for research on ASMR, and I hope that someone is moving forward on this.

    I believe it can be a significant benefit to my patients suffering from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and insomnia. There may also be benefit to those suffering from high blood pressure. This would be about half my patients!

  • epieye

    Like a mental orgasm – I agree, if you’ve experienced it, you know it. So what % of people have them? A simple survey should provide the answer because “if you’ve experienced it, you know it”.

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  • buttros buttros

    I happen to know for a fact that it’s real, and not some kind of placebo, since I’ve tried to describe this thing to people and on some websites , years before it was called asmr.
    Another proof for me is the way I discovered these videos. I’ve started seeking out videos of people whispering before I knew what the feeling was called. Then I noticed that a bunch of them had the letters asmr in the title. I looked up what it was out of curiosity, and I was amazed when I found that it described perfectly the feeling I was seeking.
    As an hardcore skeptic, it’s higly irritating for me to believe in something that hasn’t been studied by science. Get on it, scientists!

  • Cervantes3

    First time I experienced it was in 5th grade. A teachers aide was
    helping to grade papers. I gave her mine and she started flipping
    between my paper and the answer key..and my brain got all tingly.. This
    was right about the time that other things started to happen when I
    thought of girls.. so I was a little concerned.. thought the blood was
    draining out of my brain.. Anyhow.. it’s real, I know it, you know it.
    DOH.. TMI..

  • Andrejs Zavaruhins

    I wish people who are dependant on bad habits could drop their bad habits and hook on this one. I am not making a claim ASMR goes in hand to healthy lifestyle alone since there are people who combine both ASMR and bad habits, but I would make a claim that ASMR is a positive mind escape incomparable to any unhealthy habit out there. What I find is, one cannot sort of develop it, it is either there or it is not (though braingasms and tingles may go away for some time).What I found as well was, the fact that adults experience it less. Perhaps this accounts for different roles in life, maybe higher stress levels, daily routine, taking care of family… If one could develop or harness ASMR, it would be easier to compare. I guess it all depends on one’s sensitivity thresholds or brain chemistry. Returning to bad habits, these probably deplete serotonin, oxytocin or dopamine levels…

  • Christian Lindfors

    I’m usualy a big sceptic when it comes to these kind of things but i can not deny what i feel when i have an AMSR response to something. I don’t know and don’t really care if we will ever have a scientific explanation. I still remember my first experience clear as day when i was a young child. Certain you tube videos work 100% of the time. For me voices is the only trigger i know of. Male and female voices work. For males i need a deep soft voice that resonates trough my whole chest cavity. Female voices need to just be very soft.

  • corazontex

    I am reluctant to call it ASMR, as that term does not mean anything to me. I know what the unnamed feeling and experience that I have is, and I just discovered that this was something that others experience. It has nothing to do with goosebumps however, people talking about getting goosebumps are not experiencing the same thing. For years I have experienced the feeling….it would be triggered by things such as being at a checkout, especially at fabric stores, not when ppl whisper, but when they speak softly with strong S sounds, while getting haircuts, etc. For years I have been looking up videos on youtube for things such as manicures, sewing, etc. searching for a video that has a person with a voice and manerisms that will trigger the response. I happened to type in, fabric store checkout just by chance and stumbled across “ASMR”. I was COMPLETELY floored that something that specific of a trigger for me is shared by others! I have never spoken with anyone about this feeling, I thought I was weird. I am 34 years old and have had it all my life, I feel validated now because I know there are others that have the same experience I do.

    • corazontex

      I would also like to add that the experience of breastfeeding my children would release a large amount of serotonin/some other hormones that would give a very euphoric feeling that was extremely intense. The unnamed feeling is comparable to this but not as intense.

    • Crystal Visions

      There was a time when I would get into the line of a particular checkout clerk at the grocery store, even if her line was longer than others, just so I could experience this feeling which I had named “brain chills” as a child.

      A few years ago I tried once again to see if there was anything out there on the internet about this, but I didn’t think brain chills would get much of a result so I did a search for “scalp orgasm” and what came back was a description by others of all the triggers that I was familiar with on some health forum.

      What came next was a Yahoo group, then a Facebook page, then the ASMR web site and now this. The only good thing about the name ASMR is that we have a common term to search for.

  • Melinda Gonzalez

    I was in shock when I realized this was an “actual” thing, LOL, I just thought I was weird. I really do think it is an inter-personal thing. I also didn’t have a very nurturing mother, as some others have stated. I remember ASMR for me starting in kindergarten when the teacher would open packages, especially our daily treats for being good. The sound of packages gave me tingles and gave me a sense of euphoria. Usually packages opening meant something fun, like streamers for a party, candy for being good, or even new games. I have an innate sense that this happened because school and my teacher were about as close to nurturing as I would get. I believe I equated those sounds with attention, caring, and recognition, which I did not get on a daily basis. It is usually packages opening that kick the ASMR in, but later on typing also started to do it. I would literally search out the loudest keyboard in the computers labs at college and sit next to the student who was typing the most/loudest, and just sit there in heaven. Anyone else have a similar story???

  • Lavieille

    I think it’s because you’re created with a sound at birth, and when you hear that sound in real life, it connects you.

  • ishmashaw

    I’m not positive if I get it. I get goosebumps sometimes, but always get a tingle that goes from my shoulders, up the right side of my neck and crawls under my scalp to the top right side of my head. What triggers it is listening someone singing or pleasurable music. I can watch one of the singing competitions on TV and tell immediately if someone will “make it” or not from this response. Doesn’t matter what Octave level, its the voice quality itself.

  • lena

    heard a stand up comedienne mention this on 6 Music at the weekend. I’ve always had it – watching little children concentrate on some plaything, people eating crisps, hair being brushed, colleagues talking very quietly on the phone. But having asked round the office there’s so few people who know what I’m talking about. However my 2 sons also have it. Because I’ve now watched a couple of videos and talked about it, it starts for no reason – not strong but definitely there. Fascinating stuff…

  • Daniel Gutwirth

    man I’m tired of these disinformation scientists saying “we cant prove it” and blah blah blah bullshit. I’ve been able to do this since birth I have full control over it and definitely do not need a outside source to make it happen. With half a brain you can easily figure out how to test it. Its clearly a low electrical current running under the skin from stimulation somewhere in the spinal cord. The test?? One minute my arm will have no Goosebumps and then when I choose to (and say so), I will give myself the Goosebumps which the observer with physically see. Simple ass test which proves you can control it at will. Another test which would yield scientific data would be testing the electromagnetics within the body and look for electrical spikes when the test subject claims to have cultivated the current inside themselves. These scientists are a pair of clown shoes.. a running joke.
    Someone that has this too and has researched it a lot said that their is a nerve bundle in the area of the upper back where this emanates from. So we probably have control over it. Also, if you’re able to control it at will there is another cool thing we can do which is control our heart beats. Basically speaking, we have somewhat control over our sympathetic nervous system which has a lot of interesting implications. Now with that being said I leave you on your journey my fellow Jedi.

    • leathersmith

      I, too, can self-trigger. And I met another online who can do it though his wife makes him stop as his face turns red. I just got a galvanic skin test device from Hope to get results soon!

  • sa ho

    so far, I’ve watched one ASMR video of a younger woman whispering, tapping coffee mugs, while speaking about airplane induced anxiety. I didn’t know this phenomena existed.
    I am a social worker and cognitive behavioral therapist. I have no clinical basis for understanding what has always happened to me. To wit: when I hear whispering, cut my hair with electric clippers, rub my head with my hand, clean my ears with q-tips, and hear repetitive clicking noises, I experience an intense rush of euphoria, tingling extending to my lower back and down my arms radiating from my top of my head.
    My teeth feel as if they are vibrating. I feel intensely relaxed while experiencing it. I don’t care so much why it happens, but am amazed that it does happen.
    I grew up in a Pentecostal Christian family, the feeling is similar to one I would feel as a kid while in church at a peak time in the worship service. Later in life I took psychedelics and ASMR feels a lot like the sensation I experienced the day after taking MDMA or psilocybin mushrooms.
    I feel THANKFUL that I’m discovering a method of inducing this particular experience.

  • Steph Pegg

    When I think about this, it doesn’t do damage to the body or mind as its outside going in word it could be your aura. As this does not only affect the head but you can feel it around the hole body over time. Its almost like a blanket of static, at first I thought it was someone attempting to invade my thoughts. Well it could be possible but more as well, I do think its a connection to someone or something else as well a recharge field of energy giving the barer more emotional energy. All one has to do is turn there sensitivity up and focus on the feeling they get when it happens to activate it. I do it when I am going to sleep it helps to unwind.

  • BallisticMole

    I always just assumed it was a release of serotonin or endorphin. I will mostly get it when someone helps me unexpectedly or goes out of their way to help me when they didn’t have to. It’s an amazing feeling & I wish I could bottle it, so other people could feel it.

  • Zac Milne

    I’ll never forget my first ASMR experience. I was in 3rd grade and my teacher was talking softly and writing on a chalk board. I thought I was the only person who experienced this sensation for the longest time, until I discovered the YouTube community. I’ve never been so taken aback by ignorance as I have by people who are skeptical about the actual existence of ASMR. Just because I don’t experience synesthesia doesn’t mean I don’t believe others don’t experience it. I think it’s high time the world accepts it and science starts investigating it.

  • Bret Dawson

    Hi, does anyone know of people being able to control ASMR? I can.

    I don’t need any trigger to activate it, I’ve been able to control it since I started to meditate (about 8 months now). I’ve never been the type of person who eats healthy, I’ve never worked once in my life until about 6 months ago that all changed. I smoke about 20 cigarettes a day and for some reason I do not struggle with cardio and breathing when I activate asmr during workouts. It’s like switch in the center of my brain. When I purposely trigger it, the static feeling starts in my head and works down to my legs just above the knee and increases in intensity for about 20 seconds or so, then starts all over at the top of my head. I also get a somewhat high pitch sound in my ears (It’s a Pleasant sound). I also see what I can only describe as static like from a TV I see this almost all the time now.

    I really want some help to understand what this is. I feel like there is more to this.

    Is someone doing research on this? Is there someone I can talk to you that can help me?

  • stephen

    Everyone has tingly feelings related to certain stimuli situations, like goosebumps on your arms. But this fake industry is absurd. Ok, you feel relaxed after listening to someone scratch nails on a mic? That is not a magical spiritual phenomena. You feel relaxed after watching a video where it seems like the person cares about your feelings? Again, not a magical spiritual phenomena.. ASMR “exists”, but the infatuation of everyone involved with trying to make it into some “super special thing” is what is causing ASMR to be regarded as absurd by literally every other person on the planet.. Just stop. Its not a magical unique “OMG you are so special!!!” experience….. You realize all the people who listen to the ocean to relax, are not creating an entire fake industry around listening to the ocean right? Oh I forgot, YOU are special……… that is a solid YIKES from me.

  • DrkLippie ASMR

    Hello All, I am Lady, a new ASMRtist, here is my very first #ASMR video. Looking forward to delving into the #science of it all! Cheers!

  • DrkLippie ASMR

    Hi i’m Lady! A new ASMRtist. Here’s my new video! Hope you get tingles!

  • William Heileman

    I experienced it for the first time when I was in eighth grade which was 52 years ago. I had no idea what it was but when my eighth grade English teacher lectured and was writing on the chalk board I got a “tingly”, pleasant sensation on the back of my neck and head. It put me in a very relaxed almost waking dream state. There was no word for it and I never asked anyone else if they had the same experience. I just knew I really liked it and looked forward to English class. I could enhance it by lightly stroking the inside of my forearm with a pencil or pen. As I grew older I forgot all about it until I ran across an ASMR video on YouTube. I had no idea what ASMR meant or what it was. It was like running in to an old friend. The video immediately brought back my eighth grade experiences and I’ve been “hooked” ever since. It’s a wonderful way to relieve stress and relax. I wasn’t expecting anything like that to happen when I was in eighth grade and had no preconceived idea that something like that would occur. I had no idea what ASMR was when I randomly discovered the video a year ago. It gave me the exact same feeling that my eighth grade teacher did and came as a complete surprise. So, is it real? How else could my experiences be explained? It’s real! My guess is that it’s closely related to hypnotic states.