ASMR Research needs your support

It is likely that ASMR has health benefits for people struggling with stress, poor sleep, low moods, and other conditions.

Perhaps you have benefited from ASMR and wonder why more health professionals aren’t advocating ASMR to their clients and patients?

The answer is simple.  Health professionals are waiting for more research studies about ASMR to be published and you can help.  Even though you may not be a researcher, you can help to accelerate ASMR research by supporting it.

You may have heard that ASMR can reduce your heart rate.  This groundbreaking research was done by Dr. Giulia Poerio and her team at the University of Essex, UK – providing the first direct physiological evidence of the relaxing effects of ASMR.

Now, Dr. Poerio and her team want to establish an  ASMR network of scientists, experts, and the ASMR community.  This project will create a prioritized list of ASMR research questions that will drive future core research about the biology and health effects of ASMR.

Establishing this ASMR Network does require a small foundation of financial support to get it going, and you can help.

Ready to help? Jump right to this site to learn more, watch a video from Dr. Poerio, and/or donate:  https://crowd.science/campaigns/asmrnet-establishing-a-global-research-network-and-prioritised-agenda-for-asmr/

Or, keep reading for a personal message from Dr. Poerio.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR and emotional, sensory, and perceptual experiences

Angelica Succi is a post-graduate Erasmus trainee at the University of Essex (UK), Department of Psychology.

She is investigating the correlations between emotional experiences, sensory sensitivity, perception, and ASMR.

Her research project is titled: “Physiological and self-reported correlates of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)”.

Angelica’s advisors for the study are Dr. Helge Gillmeister and Dr Giulia Poerio.  Dr Poerio published the first heart rate study about ASMR in 2018.

Angelica is looking for participants to take her online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Essex.

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Participate in a pilot research survey about ASMR, anxiety, and pain

Josephine Flockton is a master’s graduate, specializing in neuroscience and neuroimaging from the University of York, England, and is pursuing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.

This survey will gather invaluable pilot data about individuals’ experiences of ASMR and its potential therapeutic benefits, to support the rationale of her PhD research and invite further study.

Her PhD research thesis aims to be the first to explore what happens in the brain during an ASMR experience using the neuroimaging technique of magnetoencephalography (MEG), to further our understanding of the phenomenon and its relation to pain circuits in the brain.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR, Synaesthesia, and Frisson

Gina Gilpin is a graduate student, pursuing an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London (UCL), England.

Her research thesis is investigating the personality and empathy traits of individuals who experience ASMR, frisson (e.g., music chills) and mirror-touch synaesthesia.

Her thesis is titled: “Investigating Various Atypical Multisensory Experiences and the Associated Personality and Empathy Traits.”  Gina’s faculty advisor for the study is Professor Sophie Scott, Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL.

Gina is looking for participants to take her online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by an Ethics Committee.  The only requirements for the survey are that you must be right-handed, English speaking, and over 18 years old.

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Would you like to get your PhD degree in ASMR and Mindfulness Meditation?

Dr Giulia Poerio (an established ASMR researcher) is the Lead supervisor for this position at the Department of Psychology, University of Essex, UK.

This is an exciting opportunity for a young scientist interested in being a pioneer of ASMR research.

I’ve copied and pasted a lot of details below from  the position posting; such as, criteria, funding, application deadline, start date, duration, project overview, and a link to apply.

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Undergraduate student completes research thesis about ASMR and progressive muscle relaxation

Denisa Vondruskova recently received her Bachelor’s Degree from Palacky University in the Czech Republic.

For her Bachelor’s Thesis she completed a research project titled, “ASMR and Jacobson progressive muscle relaxation.”

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique developed by Dr Edmund Jacobson, hence it is also called, “Jacobson progressive muscle relaxation.”  PMR involves tensing and un-tensing muscle groups, progressing from the upper torso to the lower torso.

Both ASMR and PMR can help someone to reduce their stress and fall asleep more easily.  However, ASMR involves a passive process (passive exposure to gentle stimuli) and PMR involves an active process (active tensing and untensing of muscles).

Denisa may be the first researcher to compare the relaxation techniques and effects of ASMR and PMR.

Below is a summary of her methods  and findings, followed by a link to an English summary of her thesis.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR immunity

Jemma Frost and Safiyya Mank are undergraduate psychology students at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England.

Their dissertation project is titled, “An investigation into ASMR immunity” and they are seeking participants who are 18 years or older for this study (eligible participants must have experienced ASMR and immunity to ASMR).

Participants will access an online survey, watch an ASMR video, and answer questions about their ability to experience ASMR and their experiences of ASMR immunity.

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Graduate student completes dissertation about ASMR and skin conductance

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.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR and unusual sensory experiences

Emma Palmer-Cooper is a Researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK.

She is conducting a research project titled, “Unusual experiences and the association with metacognition.”   This study includes unusual experiences such as ASMR.

Emma is looking for participants to take her online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by an Ethics Committee.

The survey is open to individuals who watch ASMR videos, are over 18 years of age, and have no personal or family history of psychosis.

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Is ASMR whispering bad for your throat or vocal cords?

The ASMR artist, Deni ASMRCZ, recently asked me if whispering is bad for the throat or vocal cords.

A 2006 research article stated, “For years, otolaryngologists and voice therapists have warned voice patients that whispering causes more trauma to the larynx than normal speech. However, no large series of patients has ever been examined fiberoptically during whispering to test this hypothesis.

In 2011, The New York Times asked Dr. Robert T. Sataloff, chairman of the otolaryngology department at Drexel University College of Medicine why clinicians recommend that patients avoid whispering.  He said this recommendation was based on “years of pronouncement and almost no research, like so much in medicine.”

Even when searching for more recent research publications, there doesn’t seem to be any research studies which clearly answer this question yet, but there are personal experiences, clinical opinions, and physiological studies.

I’ll cover all three of these types of sources, and then I conclude this article with links to resources about tips, remedies, and clinical procedures for treating vocal strain.

Let’s begin in 2009 with the first ASMR artist, WhisperingLife.  She mentioned in some of her videos that whispering sometimes hurt her voice.  This may have been one of the reasons her videos were relatively short and averaged about 10 minutes long.

Jump forward to 2019.  I’ve created over 200 podcast episodes for the Sleep Whispers podcast of pure whispering, with an average length of 40 minutes each and a max length of 90 minutes.  I’ve never felt any discomfort in my throat or voice, but I do often feel like I am running out of breath.

So these two simple and personal examples highlight that whispering may create different types of discomfort for different individuals.

Let’s see what further evidence I can uncover for the effect of whispering on the throat and vocals.

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