Dr. Franziska Apprich received her Ph.D. in Media and Business from Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland and is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication & Media Studies at Canadian University Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
She has recently been researching and publishing about several aspects of ASMR, including the benefits of ASMR in education.
Her investigations into ASMR were reviewed by the Venus International Foundation and resulted in her winning the Outstanding Scientist Award from the organization.
Beverley “Bev” Fredborg recently received her B.Sc. degree in Biopsychology from the University of Winnipeg and will soon be starting a Master’s degree program in Clinical Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
She is currently a research assistant with Dr. Stephen Smith, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Winnipeg.
I initially interviewed this duo in July of 2015 when they began to work together on an ASMR survey project.
And now I am fortunate to do another interview with them about their very recent and exciting ASMR research publication involving fMRI.
Jolien Morren has her Bachelor’s degree in Marine biology and Ecology & Evolution and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Biology and Science Communication and Society at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Jolien also creates ASMR videos for her YouTube channel, RelaxingSounds92, and for her blog, Sepiola.
I was very interested in talking with Jolien about ASMR after reading the subtitle of her blog, “Biologist and science communicator in the making, ASMR YouTuber, blogger”.
I knew she would have some valuable biological, evolutionary, and other related thoughts about ASMR.
In 2015, Emma Barratt and Nick Davis published the first peer-reviewed research study about ASMR. Their data were collected from online surveys and were very helpful to provide support about the sensations and potential applications of ASMR.
Now, Stephen Smith, Beverley Fredborg, and Jennifer Kornelsen from the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada have published the second peer-reviewed research study about ASMR.
A key difference between these two publication is that the more recent publication by Smith et al is the first biological publication about ASMR.
Popular triggers for ASMR include someone playing with your hair, cutting your hair, stroking your arm, drawing words on your back with their finger (back writing game), and/or examining you for health concerns (clinical exams).
What do all these strong triggers for ASMR have in common?
Being touched lightly has been perceived as pleasurable for a while. In contrast, the biological understanding of these pleasant sensations has only recently begun to be understood – and may help to understand ASMR.
Kerin Higa is a student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at University of California, San Diego.
She has published research about behavioral abnormalities in mouse models of psychiatric illness and is currently researching how mitochondrial dysfunction may be contribute to depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders.
Kerin also enjoys writing about science for the general public and science communities.
She has written for the “Gene-of-the-week” blog for biogps.org and is currently writing for the neuroscience blog, NeuWriteSD, which was founded by students in her graduate program. Her writing topics have included hoarding, dissociative identity disorder, and additional behavioral mysteries.
But the latest blog topic she tackled was the science of ASMR. Her in-depth article is titled “Technicalities of the tingles: the science of sounds that feel good. #ASMR” and was posted at the NeuWriteSD blog on June 11, 2015.
In my interview with Kerin she shares her love for Bob Ross, the five most important points in her article, helpful tips for writing about the science of ASMR, and more.
Below are my questions in bold followed by her replies in italics.
An article about ASMR was posted yesterday at BBC.com.
The article focuses mostly on ASMR artists (Emma whispersredasmr, Maria gentlewhispering, & Laura Stone) and the art of ASMR, with some minor mentions related to the science of ASMR.
A neuroscience professor provided his thoughts about the mechanism of ASMR. Quote from the article:
“Frances McGlone, professor of neuroscience at Liverpool John Moores University. I contacted him because I hoped he might be able to explain the mechanism which produces such a distinctive physical reaction from such a diverse range of stimuli. He couldn’t, because no-one has researched the question. “In a quick look on the more respected search engines for published scientific research I couldn’t find anything that supported a neurobiological basis for why these sensory experiences should be provoked by observing these ASMR videos,” he tells me.
McGlone further expressed concern about home-brewed alternative therapies in general and a potential erotic element of ASMR. Quote from the article: