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: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/asmr/
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.