Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a term used for an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine.
More specifically, ASMR Hair is a binaural or monaural type of stimulation where the individual uses their vocals, mouth sounds and whispers. There are many types of ASMR categories that are available through video or audio use, but the ASMR Whisper videos seem to be extensively popular on YouTube.
ASMR has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia and signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterised by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”. It is most commonly triggered by specific acoustic, visual and digital media stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attentional control.
ASMR is usually precipitated by stimuli referred to as ‘triggers. ASMR triggers, which are most commonly acoustic and visual, may be encountered through the interpersonal interactions of daily life. Additionally, ASMR is often triggered by exposure to specific audio and video. Such media may be especially made with the specific purpose of triggering ASMR, or originally created for other purposes and later discovered to be effective as a trigger of the experience.
Stimuli that can trigger ASMR, as reported by those who experience it, include the following:
- Listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice
- Listening to quiet, repetitive sounds resulting from someone engaging in a mundane task such as turning the pages of a book
- Watching somebody attentively execute a mundane task such as preparing food
- Loudly Chewing, Crunching, Slurping or Biting Foods, Drinks, or gum.
- Receiving altruistic tender personal attention
- Initiating the stimulus through conscious manipulation without the need for external video or audio triggers
Furthermore, watching and listening to an audiovisual recording of a person performing or simulating the above actions and producing their consequent and accompanying sounds is sufficient to trigger ASMR for the majority of those who report susceptibility to the experience.