Blanchet Responds to Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response


Venture onto the Instagram “Explore” page today, and you’ll likely be met with an endless supply of bizarre videos, like people mixing colorful slime with their hands, shaving soap, or even chewing ice. These videos are targeted for people looking for a low-grade euphoric sensation known as an autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR. Emma L. Barratt, Nick J. Davis

ASMR is used to create a tingling sensation down someone’s neck and back from hearing a soothing sound. The term was not coined until 2010, where it was said in a YouTube video, the first of its kind.

The content of ASMR videos range from squeezing sponges to making slime to baking cake and many more “satisfying” activities. Junior Leah MacIntyre described them as “unexpected yet riveting”.

ASMR includes the release of different chemicals in the brain including endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, according to Dr. Craig Richard. Endorphins are often released after exercise and are known for causing a sense of euphoria. In theory, the relaxing sensations associated with ASMR could benefit those struggling with anxiety, scientific findings suggesting that ASMR can aid problems associated with both stress and insomnia, according to Libby Copeland.

Senior Jacob Parsons, an avid viewer of ASMR instagram videos, enjoys the videos because they bring him tranquility.

“I like the videos very much,” said Parsons. “They calm me down.”

ASMR triggers include viewing slow hand movements, hearing an increase in pitch, and feeling a light touch, according to Dr. Richard. The attention and soft touch of hairdressers and often stimulate ASMR on accident.

Junior Maia Heffernan enjoys ASMR videos as a way to relax and destress.

“They serve as a calming break from homework and the everyday stress of life,” said Heffernan. “It’s tingle-inducing”

Different triggers exist to evoke an ASMR sensation, which vary from person to person. Given this, some people are skeptical of the videos.

Senior Jackson Brown does not enjoy certain types of ASMR, even though he is very new to the vast world of ASMR.

“When people chew boba [tapioca pearls], it makes me cringe,” said Brown. “The sound of other people chewing is just so gross.”

Using ASMR videos as a source of income is becoming much more popular. What started as a YouTube video of someone whispering into a microphone has grown into an empire of soothing videos. Maria Viktorovna, one of the most famous ASMR video creators, revealed to Cosmopolitan Magazine that she is able to fully sustain herself from the money she makes creating ASMR videos.

ASMR itself is gaining popularity. Most students interviewed at BBHS were well aware of the trend, and many admitted to watch ASMR videos themselves. According to the Washington Post, well-known EDM DJ DeadMau5 sampled one of Viktorovna’s recording in a song.

Although the causes and effects of ASMR remain widely unstudied, the videos have sparked a newfound appreciation for simple, everyday sounds. it seems more and more people are hearing about it and trying to utilize it for its euphoric effects.