ASMR: What it is, Why it Works and Why it May Not

A deep dive into the topic with lead researcher Dr Giulia Poerio.


To start, ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and according to Dr Giulia Poerio, it describes the feeling some people experience in response to certain triggers. Some may describe it as “bubbles tingling under the skin, often starting at the crown of the head and spreading down the rest of the body,” she says. However, not everyone experiences these sensations; or, some may only discover ASMR in certain settings. Dr. Poerio is a pioneer in the field of ASMR and the first to research what’s happening in the body when people are experiencing it. Past research has focused on individual differences without actually looking at why people are experiencing this feeling.


At Sloomoo Institute we havean ASMR tunnel, which will include ASMR cues throughout. We also have an ASMR listening station with satisfying sounds of slime popping, crunching, and poking along with frying eggs, sizzly Pop Rocks, nail tapping, heel walking and more.



Dr. Poerio has found those who experience ASMR have decreased heart rates and increases in skin conduction. “The reductions in heart rate are comparable to things like music induced stress reduction and mindfulness techniques,” she says. She also found video to be the best way to figure out if ASMR works for you. At the moment, Dr. Poerio and her team are looking at ASMR in sensory sensitivity.


They are interested in the idea that the experience of ASMR and the reason why some people get it and some don't is because of the way they are sensitive to the external world and how that affects one’s emotional states. “There are obvious questions that need answering like what percentage of the population has ASMR. That’s an obvious question we don't know the answer to yet and it’s really, really rare to come across an area of stuff that has never been researched before in the history of things. So it’s really a good opportunity to do loads of research,” she adds.


“Some people have such intense experiences with ASMR and other people have really mild ones. So there does seem to be individual variation in it. We do also find that when we looked at people’s ASMR responses that some people respond stronger than others.” Dr. Poerio says this is just the beginning of their search into ASMR.


“You’ve got this feeling that lots of people experience and it has never had a name. Imagine if the feeling of happiness didn't have a name and then it suddenly did,” she explains. “I think it’s become so popular because people have now got a name, community and a way of communicating about this thing that a lot of the time they assumed was just them or they assumed that everybody had it,” she adds. Slooomoo loves the excitement around ASMR and we are excited for you to possibly experience it too in our space!


In the meantime, check out the video Dr. Poerio sent over on the Science Behind ASMR below.

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