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Top 5 Facts About ASMR

VO: Joshua Karpati

Script written by Michael Wynands

Sorry, but we won’t be whispering our way through this video. From the feeling it evokes, to the triggers it may stimulate, these need to know facts will tell you everything you need to know about ASMR. WatchMojo counts down top 5 facts about ASMR.

Special thanks to Christo for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+5+Facts+About+ASMR.


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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 5 Facts About ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response)

Sorry, but we won’t be whispering our way through this video. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 5 things you should know about ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response.

For this list, we're taking a look at 5 facts about ASMR, to help better understand this strange internet phenomenon.

#5: That Tingling Feeling

For someone who’s never experienced ASMR, the experience can be a little hard to grasp. But essentially, it’s a bodily response to a distinct type of sensory experience, often using subtle auditory triggers. People describe it in many different ways, but in the most general sense, it involves a creeping tingling sensation that begins in the brain, moves through the spine and travels to the extremities. While it may feel odd or be even a little unnerving at first, people find it to be incredibly soothing. While those who seek out ASMR generally agree that it is not a sexual experience, it has nonetheless been called a “brain orgasm” due to the powerful feeling of pleasure it gives provides.

#4: The Discussion is A Young One

The internet can give itself a pack on the back for this one. It took a global online network to connect those curious about this odd sensation and get the conversation started. The very earliest known mention of what would go on to be dubbed “ASMR” is from a 2007 forum. In 2008, an online group by the name of the “Society of Sensationalists” began a larger discussion on the topic of these strange experiences in Yahoo! groups. In 2010, a major player in the online discussion, Jenn Allen, coined the term “autonomous sensory meridian response”, and founded “”, which became a central hub for discussion and research into the phenomenon. Although the conversation is very young, some believe that Virginia Woolf described the feeling of ASMR in her 1925 novel “Mrs. Dalloway”.

#3: Unintentional and Intentional Triggers

Nowadays, there are thousands upon thousands of youtube video specifically dedicated to stimulate viewers. While it seems that certain people aren’t susceptible to the effects, many of those who are, absolutely LOVE the experience and actively seek it out. Some people will watch or listen to AMSR content to help them fall asleep or de-stress. With its growing popularity, people have produced content of a wide variety, experimenting with triggers ranging from history lessons, to eating or virtual haircuts. The goal is to provide viewers with the best sensory experience for their tastes. But ASMR was discovered because of the unintentional triggers found in our world. Some people describe feeling it in class during a lecture. The television painter, Bob Ross, with his calm voice and movement, is also widely referenced as a trigger.

#2: There Has Been Little Scientific Research Done

Because ASMR has only recently come to our collective attention, little is known about this phenomenon. As a product of the internet, it has repeatedly suffered from a lack of credibility. Jenn Allen, the founder of has had to lobby Wikipedia in order to maintain the integrity of the ASMR entry, which faced repeated removal due to a lack of scientific sources. Perhaps because of its origin, the scientific research community has largely ignored the topic. Emma L. Barratt and Nick J. Davis, of Swansea University in the U.K., published the first medical academic paper on the subject in 2015. Given that theirs was the first study of its kind, their research largely focused on documenting trends in triggers and responses, but they strongly recommended further research into the therapeutic values of ASMR.

#1: The Many Theories

Here’s the problem. While ASMR is a fascinating subject that desperately warrants further serious scientific investigation, its quick adoption by internet self-helpers, faith healers and spiritualists doesn’t do much for its reputation. For every truly fascinating theory with a scientific basis, there is a rather outlandish one. In Barratt and Davis’ 2015 study, they saw reason to believe that there may be a connection between ASMR and synaesthesia. In forums, however, ASMR has been called a form of enlightenment. Karissa Ann Burgess, who handles the research and data at, believes it activates the pineal gland, which has previously been linked with metaphysical experiences. Allegedly, some in the community go so far as to call it “the next stage of human consciousness.” The truth is… no one knows for sure. But we’re anxious to learn more.


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