Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

That’s right, it’s ASMR! I have to admit, I kind of hate this initialism. But I’m also really glad that this fascinating and incredibly enjoyable phenomenon has gained a name and a lot more attention (including scientific study) in the last decade or so.

If you’re not familiar, it’s a sort of scalp-spine-body tingling sensation that can be induced (“triggered”) by a variety of sensory stimuli, often sounds, sometimes visuals. Wikipedia of course has more to say:

This puts a name to an experience I have had since I was fairly young, and in fact I learned to (or just happened to be able to) self-induce it to some degree. Depending on the moment, I can actually do so as powerfully as with an external trigger. It’s an extremely interesting phenomenon, self-inducing particularly, and ASMR generally.

Anyway I might have a lot to say about it, from musings on how it might work and what it might do for us evolutionarily, to recommendations of ASMR “artists” and channels to check out. The whole scene around it can be a little strange at times, but it’s well worth checking out if you’re not already familiar. The physical sensations that can arise are quite lovely. Akin to that feeling of getting “goosebumps” when hearing a particularly amazing piece of music or performance, for example (which actually has its own name: Frisson!). For a start, check out one of my favorite channels, ASMR Zeitgeist:

And in particular this video full of short snippets of various triggers (sounds and visuals), which might help you quickly figure out if ASMR happens for you:

More to come, no doubt…