A young woman holds a wooden heart in her hand and taps on it for about a minute. The sound is reminiscent of rain patter. When she talks, she whispers. She spells out the heart’s inscription “S-w-e-e-t o-n y-o-u”. It’s the 30-minute YouTube video “ASMR Valentine’s Day Triggers” by influencer ASMR Darling, aka Taylor Darling. She whispers into the microphone over and over again, grabs objects and makes noises with them. What sounds bizarre at first is a real trend on social media. But why?

ASMR stands for “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” – translated: autonomous sensory meridian response. Exactly, nobody understands that! That’s why translations like “head tingling” or “head orgasm” are circulating in German-speaking countries. The terms refer to a phenomenon that produces a pleasant tingling or tingling sensation on the skin and in the head. This can be evoked by certain audiovisual stimuli such as voices, noises or touch. Influencers have been celebrating success with this phenomenon for years.

ASMR videos are usually on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram

“I didn’t know the phenomenon and came across it on Instagram. I then realized that I really liked the videos,” says Geschke in an interview with the star. “I took it as a completely new experience and thought it was really great”.

Geschke is a consultant and therapist in Hamburg. She studied psychology and neurology. Her focus is on clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The therapist with her own practice in Hamburg-Eppendorf knows how people perceive and process environmental signals.

“The ASMR videos are only about two sensory modalities, one visual and one auditory. There are only two sensory stimuli experienced, so you only have to focus on two,” says Geschke. “Many people then get a tingling sensation in the back of the scalp and this is then transmitted to the whole body via the neck and back,” says the psychologist. ASMR videos can be compared to meditation – the concentration is limited to one or two, like meditating Senses In the case of ASMR: seeing and hearing If you want to record ASMR videos yourself, there is one thing in particular that you should be aware of.

The most important gadget for recording ASMR videos is a good microphone. Quality depends on several factors related to sensitivity, directivity, frequency response, signal-to-noise ratio, low distortion and construction. A good microphone should offer high performance in all of these areas to ensure quality recording.

These criteria make an ASMR video particularly enjoyable:

In 2022, a study on ASMR was published in the “Journal of Research in Personality”. British researchers found that people who are susceptible to ASMR are also better able to perceive internal and external signals from their body. The results show that nobody perceives all five senses – hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch – in the same way. Some are more sensitive to smells, others to touch, others to visual stimuli, and, and, and. According to Hamburg psychologist Christine Geschke, reactions to ASMR triggers that are perceived as pleasant can have some positive effects.

“ASMR can help to fall asleep better, reduce sleep disorders, alleviate depression. It also helps some with panic attacks. In any case, it lowers the heart rate,” says Geschke. Previous experience has shown that ASMR can be helpful in mental illnesses. However, the method is still very unexplored.” Based on her many years of experience in cognitive psychology, Geschke has a sobering assumption about the long-term effects of ASMR: “There is a risk of what is known as habituation, i.e. a habituation effect. ASMR is now perceived by the brain in a new and exciting way, but at some point the positive effect could disappear,” says Geschke.

Quellen: “Journal of Research in Personality”, “YouTube”

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