Does watching a video of someone eating a pickle or gently brushing their hair leave you feeling almost euphoric?
If so, you are not alone.
It’s called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) – also known as the ‘brain tingles’ or ‘braingasms’ – and it’s become something of a phenomenom lately.
In a nutshell, ASMR is the very pleasurable and relaxing sensation that occurs when some of us listen to soft sounds such as whispers or finger tapping.
“It… is associated with a pleasant tingly feeling on the scalp and back of the neck,” explains Nick Davis, PhD, a psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, UK.
This buzz may also travel down the spine, and can spread to the back, arms, and legs, he says.
Déjà vu is a similar brain sensation. And there’s a similar reaction in some people when they listen to music. I
f you get chills listening to music, there’s some evidence that your brain may be wired for stronger emotions and you may have stronger emotional intelligence.
People with ASMR report a boost in mood immediately, Davis says.
“It seems to last for several hours after watching the video.”
It’s different strokes for different folks when it comes to the sounds and visual cues that trigger brain tingles, but whispering, hair being played with or brushed, and soft talking seem to be top ASMR triggers.
“In a study, we found that people like low-pitched sounds and detailed activity, while people tended to find that background music made it harder to experience ASMR,” Davis says.