Matt Frank is a graduate student, pursuing an M.A. in media studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.
His research thesis is investigating the experiences and motivations of watching ASMR videos as a form of self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His thesis is tentatively titled: “Notions of ASMR in Quarantine: Affect, Self-care, and Healthcare”, and his faculty advisor is Dr. Elizabeth Ellcessor, Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia.
As part of his thesis study, Matt is looking for participants for his virtual focus group, which has been reviewed and approved by an Ethics Committee (IRB-SBS #3160).
Nicola Passey lives in Staffordshire, UK, and has a Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Therapies, a Level 3 Diploma in Anatomy and Psychology, and a Level 2 Diploma in Beauty Therapy.
Nicola is also an ASMR artist creating videos for her “Be Brave Be You ASMR” channel on YouTube and has over 53,000 subscribers.
She started creating ASMR videos in January 2019 and has already produced over 230 videos. Nicola initially started with audio-only content and then gradually progressed to being on camera. Her videos include a variety of content with a focus on medical and spa roleplays.
Along this journey, Nicola has learned many tricks and tips that improved herself as an ASMR artist, improved the quality of her ASMR videos, and improved the experience for the viewers of her videos.
Below are her Ten Tips for new ASMR video artists along with links to her “Be Brave Be You ASMR” YouTube channel and other platforms.
The “Best Day Ever” YouTube channel was started in 2013, which is also the birth year of the current star of the channel, 7-year old Zoey.
Perhaps Zoey’s mother, Penny, started the channel that year in hopes of capturing and sharing family moments. Sure enough, the early videos on the channel are happy and jovial family moments of their times in Georgia, U.S..
Early this year in 2020, 7-year old Zoey began creating ASMR videos, and the channel is now called “Best Day Ever ASMR.” The video channel has grown quickly with 14,000 subscribers and 56 well-produced, deeply relaxing, whimsical, fun, and colorful ASMR videos starring 7-year old Zoey.
I interviewed Zoey and her mom Penny to find out more about their channel. Penny shares how Zoey became inspired to create ASMR videos, how both parents help her to create the videos, how they optimize her personal safety, and how they guide her to make age-appropriate content. Zoey shares why she likes to create ASMR videos, if she experiences ASMR, and shares 3 tips for other young creators of ASMR videos.
Below are my questions in bold, their replies in italics, and a link to the “Best Day Ever ASMR” YouTube channel.
Damiana Conti is a graduate student pursuing her Masters of Science degree in the Department of Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy.
She focused her dissertation project on analyzing the subjective feelings and objective skin conductance responses to ASMR videos.
An increase in skin conductance is a measure of increased physiological arousal, like excitement or alertness. ASMR is usually thought of as a state of relaxation with decreased arousal, although there are several reports that suggest ASMR has a slight increased level of physiological arousal to it.
Below are a summary of her methods, some of her exciting data, and a link to her completed dissertation.
Elena Jdanova was born in Moscow, Russia (USSR back then), graduated from Moscow State University with a B.S. Degree in paleontology, and now resides in California, USA.
Her resume already includes experiences as an Indian dance instructor, ceramicist, massage therapist, and an author of two books.
Now, at the age of 62 years and as a loving grandmother to a couple of grandchildren, Elena has decided to start a new journey – she is creating ASMR videos on her new YouTube channel called Grandmother’s Tales.
So what do you get when you combine a Russian grandmother and an ASMR content creator? Someone who has a lifelong understanding of positive personal attention (also called “doting” in grandmother-speak) and communicates it with a delightful Russian accent.
In my interview with Elena she explains her inspiration to create ASMR videos, how being a grandmother influences her content, her challenges encountered so far with creating ASMR videos, and reactions to her videos from family, friends, and strangers.
Below are my questions in bold, her replies in italics, and links to her ASMR video channel, gardening video channel, and published books.
I’m happy to share that I am one of the co-authors of the first published study to show brain activity during ASMR.
The study is titled, “An fMRI investigation of the neural correlates underlying the ASMR” and was published by Bryson Lochte, Sean Guillory, Craig Richard, and William Kelley in the journal BioImpacts on September 23, 2018.
One of the biggest questions about ASMR is, “What is happening in the brain?” Although this study doesn’t fully answer that question, it is the first data to provide some direct insights.
Participants quietly layed down in fMRI machines, watched ASMR videos, and their brains were scanned during moments of brain tingling – and then those brain images were compared to moments without brain tingling.
The brain regions that were strongly activated during ASMR were similar to those regions activated when humans, and other animals, perform soothing social behaviors – known as affiliative behaviors. Typical examples of affiliative behaviors include calmly sitting close to each other, touching each other gently, and mutual grooming.