Safiyya Mank is an undergraduate psychology student at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England and also a research assistant for an ASMR project.
Her project is titled, “An investigation into ASMR and sensory sensitivity” and she is seeking participants who are 18 years or older for this study (sensitivity to ASMR triggers is not necessary).
Participants will access an online survey, watch an ASMR video, and answer questions about their ability to experience ASMR and how they normally react to specific sensory stimuli.
The survey has been approved by the University’s ethics committee, shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, and will collect your replies anonymously.
The results of the study may be published in peer reviewed journals. Participants can obtain a full copy of the results of the research study by contacting the researcher.
She is being supervised by Dr. Thomas Hostler and Dr. Giulia Poerio, who published the first heart rate study about ASMR in 2018.
The survey closes soon, so click the link below to learn more or to participate if you are interested.
Lucas Simone is a junior at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, California.
For his AP Capstone Research Project, he chose to analyze the associations between gender and aspects of ASMR.
He surveyed over a hundred of his high school peers and collected data about gender, stress, ASMR video viewing, ASMR feelings, ASMR frequency, and more.
Below are a summary of his methods, some of his data, and a link to his final AP Capstone Research Report.
Alexsandra Kovacevich and David Huron at Ohio State University have published a research paper about the content and comments of ASMR videos.
Their paper is titled, “Two Studies of ASMR: The Relationship between ASMR and Music-Induced Frisson” and was published in Fall 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal, Empirical Musicology Review.
In this paper, the authors report the results of two studies. The first study analyzed the content of ASMR videos and the second study analyzed comments about ASMR videos.
Below is a summary of their paper, followed by links to the published manuscript, supplementary materials, and a commentary article.
Toloue Askarirad is a graduate student in the School of Psychology at The University of Adelaide in Australia.
Her research thesis is exploring an association between intelligence, personality traits, and ASMR, and is titled, “Do intelligence and personality traits influence ASMR perception?”
Toloue is looking for participants to take her online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by a Human Research Ethics Subcommittee. The faculty supervisor of her project is Professor Nick Burns.
The survey is open to individuals who watch ASMR videos, is fully anonymous, will not take longer than 40 minutes, and the results will only be used for academic purposes.
The survey will remain open until 200 participants have participated (or until June 30th, 2019).
Below is a link to the survey and more information.
Would you be interested in an ASMR spa?
Amanda Rose Doherty is currently an Account Manager at a software company in Barcelona, Spain. She received her Business Studies Degree in Marketing at Dublin City University.
Amanda was considering the idea of opening an ASMR spa. She created a survey in 2016 to assess interest in this idea and I wrote an article about her with a link to her survey.
The bad news is that Amanda has shifted her focus away from creating an ASMR spa, but the good news is that she has shared the results of her survey with me – and the data shows that there is a strong interest in ASMR spas.
She had over 600 responses and has given me permission to share her interesting data below. Below are results from her survey, followed by a link if you would like to learn more about her.
Thomas Swart is a postgraduate student, pursuing his PhD in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
His research thesis is investigating the neurotransmitters, brain regions, and neural mechanisms that drive ASMR. In order to do this he aims to initially validate the presence of ASMR in individuals via an online questionnaire rather than solely relying on self-reported measures.
His thesis is titled: “Explaining Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”, and his faculty advisor for the study is Dr. Michael Banissy, Professor of Psychology and Co-Head of Department at Goldsmiths University. Dr Banissy has co-authored two prior published studies about ASMR.
Thomas is looking for participants to take his online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by an Ethics Committee. The survey is open to everyone who is 18 or older, regardless if you do or don’t experience ASMR. The survey is fully anonymous (GDPR-compliant), will take 30-40 minutes to complete, and the results will only be used for academic purposes.
The survey will remain open until sufficient responses enable a further revision of the questionnaire to more accurately validate the presence of ASMR in an individual.
Below is a link to the survey and more info.
Anthony El-Chaar is a graduate student, pursuing an M.A. in media studies at Notre Dame University in Lebanon.
His research thesis is investigating the experiences and motivations of watching ASMR videos. The thesis is titled: “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response: What is the Phenomenon Behind the Tingling Sensation?” His faculty advisor for the study is Dr. Jessica El-Khoury, Assistant Professor at Notre Dame University.
Anthony is looking for participants to take his online survey. The survey is open to individuals who watch ASMR videos. The survey is fully anonymous and the results will only be used for academic purposes. The survey will take 10 minutes maximum to complete.
The survey will remain open until 300 participants have participated.
Below is a link to the survey and more info.
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.
So how exactly was this study done?
I posted a prior article titled, “Participate in a research study about the role of ASMR in the service industry.”
Good news, the research study is completed and some results are now available.
The researcher was Vladimir Fedoseev, a graduate student pursuing his MBA at the Varna University of Management in Varna, Bulgaria (a partner university of Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales).
His dissertation focused on the involvement of ASMR in the service industry and is titled, “Effect of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) on Service User Experience”
He investigated how ASMR triggers, like soft speech, gentle sounds, careful hand movements, light touch, personal attention, and kind personalities, might effect experiences with hairdressers, doctors, hotel clerks, and others in the service industry.
In this second interview with Vladimir he reviews the details of his methods and shares some results of his research project.
One curious observation I noticed in his results is that gentle sounds, soft speech, and personal attention were the top triggers perceived by participants to cause ASMR in services, but the services with increasing reliance of light touch (like a hairdresser) showed increasing likelihood of stimulating ASMR. This could imply that light touch is a stronger contributor in service-mediated ASMR than the participants realized.
Below are my questions in bold, his replies in italics, and links to learn more about his research project.
Anders Köhler recently graduated from the University of Skövde in Sweden with a Degree of Bachelor of Arts and majored in Media Arts, Aesthetics, and Narration (Game Development – Sound).
His examination project investigated the psychoacoustic properties of ASMR sounds and was titled, “A study of scratching sounds within ASMR in a neutral sound environment.”
Anders’ goal was to try to find patterns and properties in ASMR trigger sounds. This is a terrific quest. What is special about crinkling, tapping, whispering, and scratching sounds that make them so blissful and delightful to ASMR enthusiasts?
He focused his project on scratching sounds and utilized state-of-the-art tools and methods to dissect the sound profiles.
In my interview with Anders he explains his goals, research design, and shares a table of his data with a full explanation of what he discovered in his project.
Below are my questions in bold, his replies in italics, and links to his study, a video summary, and his Facebook page.