The Science Behind ASMR Music Producers Should Know
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a phenomenon that is quite difficult to explain. Basically, this is a kind of sensation similar to a sexual one. It occurs when people are listening to ASMR music. However, not all genres of music can trigger this process and not all people are prone to having this pleasure even with free music samples. The exploration of this phenomenon can help producers understand its mechanism, and create music that is adored by everyone.
Origins of ASMR
According to our friends from a professional dissertation writing service company, the ASMR effect is triggered by certain sounds when watching videos accompanied by these sounds or listening to the music. The pleasure of viewers and listeners is similar to the sensation of an orgasm. This effect can be reached by using certain sound triggers: these sounds bring pleasure to viewers and listeners. Therefore, these videos usually hit millions of views.
Despite the fact that ASMR can evoke some sexual sensations, it is different from the regular orgasm that results from peripheral manifestations. It originates in the brain and the sensations stimulated by sounds are sometimes difficult to explain, as they are quite odd.
The Mechanisms of ASMR
However, this phenomenon is experienced by some people, yet does not occur for others. Besides, those who experience this sensation state that it disappears with time. It emerges in the head and then spreads down the spine and other limbs. It usually ends at the level of the waistline; so, the nature of ASMR is not sexual at all. Many respondents describe it as a tingling sensation triggered by actions such as whispering, scratching, marble rolling, or tapping, to name a few.
It is also associated with attention induced head orgasm (AIHO) and attention induced euphoria (AIE) that have similar effects on listeners and viewers. A particular feature of ASMR is that it is experienced exceptionally in the brain. The Internet significantly contributed to its creation. Its role in the society cannot be underestimated as many viewers of ASMR videos claim that they have virtual girlfriends. Others state that they feel somebody caring about them when they watch these ASMR videos. Hence, it fills the gap created by the lack of love and care. Who knows where it will lead humankind?
Scientific Explanation of ASMR
Scientists describe ASMR as an interesting and weird psychological phenomenon. The sensations are difficult to describe. It is also difficult to understand why not all people are prone to experiencing these sensations. The research showed that participants had different triggers: for the majority of them, whispering caused the ASMR sensation, while different triggers, such as crisp sounds, slow movements, and personal attention made the same effect on other respondents. Interestingly, only 5% of the respondents argued that they watched the videos aiming to receive sexual relaxation. It is hard to believe in it, however, since the majority of respondents were males. Others state that they watched these videos to relax, address stress or resist insomnia. Many respondents claim that the actions performed in the ASMR videos made them feel loved, safe and comfortable.
Flow State, Synesthesia and ASMR
ASMR is often associated with two conditions known as flow state and synesthesia. The flow state is a condition of heightened focus. For example, athletes experience this condition when creating and breaking records. Artists in these videos perform their roles in the flow state. It explains the connections between ASMR and the flow state. It also explains why slow motions trigger this effect.
Synesthesia is another phenomenon whereby people associate one sensory input with another one. For example, when a person sees a yellow round object, they feel the taste of lemon in their mouth. This phenomenon is similar to the multi-sensory experience that ASMR video viewers encounter. Research findings showed that 5.9% of the respondents had the symptoms of synesthesia. However, the study didn’t give any explanation regarding the selective effect of ASMR on people.
Intimate Connections between Viewers and Performers
Further research revealed that there is a kind of intimate connection between the viewers of ASMR content and the actors performing roles in the home studio in these videos. The study explains how ASMR is induced through cognitive associations. Thus, this experience can be considered as an abnormal sexual intimacy in public.
On the other hand, ASMR has a good healing effect on people. Close physical contact such as grooming or caring, use the same pathways. Besides, it uses the same mechanisms as focusing and relaxing: it manipulates the sections in the human brain responsible for anxiety and stress. The professors from the Department of Music at the Ohio State University state that this effect is similar to the grooming of primates attempting to make a bond.
Here is the list of most commonly used ASMR triggers:
- Heavy breathing
- Eating sounds
- Page turning
- Hair play
- Applying makeup
- Stirring water
- Personal attention
This is not an extensive list of ASMR triggers, however. Despite many research participants stating that their experiences were not sexual in any way, the research shows the opposite, as many triggers are associated with sex. Hence, the participation of female actors in these ASMR videos are the prime focus to bring relaxation to males who are working in stressful environments.
What Are the Implications of the ASMR Research for Music Producers?
The ASMR phenomenon is not new in the music industry. Some video and music producers use it when creating binaural records to enhance the proximity of actors, vocalists, and viewers. The technique of binaural recording is used for a more intense effect on listeners. Also, it creates the most intense of effects when being listened to, through advanced sound headphones. Binaural records do not make the same effect when loudspeakers are used. Therefore, the videos created by musical producers should deliver the best sound quality possible.
See this interesting video which uses a Binaural recording technique:
Nowadays, even modern orchestras use the technique of binaural recording, which is similar to ASMR media tools. Therefore, musical producers can use these research developments to promote their videos on YouTube or social networks.