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Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby shenman » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:04 am

Hi everyone, I've just found this forum and read the posts with great interest. I have experienced these head tinggles since early childhood and tried to research online unsuccessfully several times in the past to find anything out about it. Earlier this year however, I found a large active online community discussing this phenomenon. The sensation has been named "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response" (ASMR) and is described as is a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs.

Most ASMR episodes begin by an external or internal trigger, and are so divided for classification. Type A episodes are elicited by the experiencer using no external stimuli, and are typically achieved by specific thought patterns unique to the individual. Type B episodes are triggered involuntarily by an external trigger, via one or more senses, and may also involve specific thought patterns associated with the triggering event. Both types of triggers vary between individuals, but many are common to a large portion of ASMR enjoyers.

Common external triggers:

Exposure to slow, accented, or unique speech patterns

Viewing educational or instructive videos or lectures

Experiencing a high empathetic or sympathetic reaction to an event

Enjoying a piece of art or music

Watching another person complete a task, often in a diligent, attentive manner - examples would be filling out a form, writing a check, going through a purse or bag, inspecting an item closely, etc.

Close, personal attention from another person

Haircuts, or other touch from another on head or back

There is website: http://www.asmr-research.org/ set-up to research ASMR and raise interest to fund a scientific research study into the phenomenon. It has a lot of useful information and links to other groups, discussing theories, various triggers and links to a large number of ASMR trigger videos.

Hope you find this helpful and interesting, please go check it out!
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby chillsdownmyspine » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:50 am

Thank you so much, shenman, this is great information. I can't believe I have now gone from thinking I am the only one with this phenomenon, to being overjoyed to find I am not alone on this forum, to now finding a group of people who are researching it! Fantastic, thanks so much for sharing the website, I am off to check it out. :mrgreen:
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby Patty » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:11 pm

Yes, thank you Shenman. It was great to read your response and find an online community dedicated to this phenomenon. I look forward to hearing more about future ASMR research.
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby ishsef » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:10 pm

Every entity created by God on this planet has its own basic harmonic "signature." When a harmonic or a sound frequency is compatible with or similar to the signature of the individual, that individual experiences various mental and emotional responses generated by the the harmony (music) that results. Some music or harmonics are repugnant and therefore are avoided because of their unpleasantness. Our relationships are formed in a similar fashion. We like folks with like harmonics.
Simply put, when we experience harmony, it is pleasing to us as with any animal (i.e. "Music can calm the savage beast.")
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby xoxokayla » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:54 pm

I do the exact same thing. I have for years. I love the sound of people rummaging through their make up. I also love hearing certain voices. I thought I was the only one who did this. I too get sleepy when this happens. Its almost as if I'm hypotized. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one.
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby andym777 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:53 pm

Hi guys

I too used get the same kind of feelings, but only when hearing a washing machine spin. I've actually recorded several different ones and, although they sounded different, they all had the same effect. Tingling shivers and, if I listened long enough, I'd feel really quite spaced out. But, as I say, used to get this feeling, it all changed a couple of years ago.

A couple of years back I was having a particularly stressful time of things. a couple of major problems came up and they really knocked me sideways. The stress and anxiety was really getting to me and so I sought help on the form of psychotherapy. The therapy worked wonders, and I'd recommend it to anyone in a similar situation.
However, one 'effect' of the therapy, which I really wasn't expecting was that the feelings associated with the sound of a spinning watching machine were gone. I still like the sound. (To be honest I'm listening to it now while typing this) but I never get the tremors/shivers anymore and I do miss them, as it was a nice feeling.

This may only be a coincidence or it may be that I'm now generally more relaxed and therefore the sound doesn't lessen stress, because I'm not stressed anymore?

Andy
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Postby andym777 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:07 pm

OK I'm going to add a little more to my previous post.

I am cheating a bit as I am a psychotherapist myself. The problems a couple of years ago were actually a form of 'burn out' that we psychotherapists run the risk of acquiring. (don't think acquiring is the right work but can't think of a better one right now)

The reason I mention this is because of the last few posts, particularly ones mentioning the feeling of like being hypnotized. I sometimes use hypnosis in my works as it helps us to access childhood memories and associated emotional states. When you say it's like being hypnotized it's because you are.

You're experiencing 'auto induced' hypnotic regression into a childhood memory of when you first heard, or experienced the sound, and the associated positive feelings during the experience.

Psychotherapists (or certainly this psychotherapist) will use this effect to access negative emotional states in order to work with them at the unconscious level, this bringing them into consciousness. Of course the opposite also happens and we access a positive state. a happy feeling. sound and audio stimuli are very effective at inducing this. we all had the experience of suddenly smiling at a piece of music that reminds us of a happy time. this is spontaneous hypnosis. It's likely that sound like the ones described are having this kind of effect.

Personally speaking, I still don't know why the spinning washing machine should have had this affect on me as I know my parents didn't have a washing machine when I was young. Nor do I know why it stop after therapy, but it certainly has...
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby Bexy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:31 pm

Hey! I'm so glad I found this forum. I'm glad I know I'm not the only person who this happens too :). Also, thank you so much for all the audio links!
I have been experiencing this sensation since I was very young. My favorite thing is the turning of pages/rustling paper; additionally, the sound of people whispering and certain keystrokes on a keyboard arouse the same feelings. Like everyone else who has posted, when I hear these noises I get a tingling sensation similar to the sensation from someone touching your hair. Also, it is difficult to move at all until the sound stops or I willingly break away from the sensation. On the down side, the sound of people chewing is revolting to me. Music doesn't effect me at all, and I don't play any instruments or sing well.
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby littlesounds » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:31 pm

I find this subject fascinating. I think that I've always had a certain set of sounds that triggered this response from me. Mostly those are:

Little bips and bleeps from some minimalistic ambient music (especially over headphones)
Soft typing on some keyboards
Sound of hair being cut
'Crinkly' sounds if they are soft and slow and not harsh

I also have very good hearing and wonder if that has anything to do with this.
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby AmyGdala » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:23 am

So glad to know it wasn't just me!!!!

This tingly, euphoric, pleasant, relaxing feeling has been happening since I was a child.

For me, it almost always occurs when someone is looking at say a supply catalog over my shoulder with me or on the phone with me helping me find a product.

I think everyone on here helped make the page-turning or paper sound connection.

It's almost as if I'm being put into a slight trance by this delightfully almost numbing or rather, tingly warm sensation in my head/brain. It's extremely relaxing. Like aural therapy and almost tactile. But (for me) always involves another person near me, and one is helping the other figure something out.

Have tried to replicate it voluntarily, but it doesn't seen to work that way.

My guess is it's also got to do with the tone or inflection of the other peoples' voice? Perhaps it's an odd form of bonding with someone in a non-sexual, non-parental way?

If they could bottle this feeling up, anxiety and insomnia would be a thing of the past.

With this message board, I hope a professional in the neurological sciences can read this, and post a name for this. Also, does everyone have this or just special people like the users of this forum? :)

It is a similar sensation to that of getting your hair washed and/or styled by someone.


Love it!
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby billex » Tue May 08, 2012 10:26 pm

I actually stayed late at work the other day because the cleaner started shuffling about in the cleaner cupboard sorting out supplies and bagging things up and piling things together and the sound was so soothing I sat at my desk for an extra 20 mins just listening to it..!
I even remember films which contains scenes with nice noises in them. And if I encounter someone with a 'nice' voice then I could listen to them for hours..I would pay good money for a complication of noises - but I guess everyone has a different idea of what is 'nice', but for me these noises are nearly always generated by someone being busy, industrious, quietly efficient - for me the sound is wrapped up in that type of activity - I am not sure even if the sound was 'nice' I would want to hear someone doing something that was in any way a 'negative' act as for me that would take away some of the pleasure - I am sure it all stems from being very young and hearing my mum pottering around me doing small chores..amyway - really pleased I am not the onlly one with this, my husband thinks I am mad!
x
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Re: Sound and how the brain reacts to it

Postby alycat32 » Sat May 26, 2012 11:45 pm

Hi there! I registered just so that I could reply to this post. The closest I have come to those who enjoy certain sounds as much as me are the people who listen to "whisper" videos on youtube. In fact, youtube videos are how I get myself to fall asleep at night.

There are certain people on youtube who's voices are so soothing they literally put me to sleep. There is a woman on youtube named Albatross234 who is what i'd call a big conspiracy theorist about pretty much everything, and I really honestly have no interest in WHAT she is saying, it's her voice and the little clicks in her voice that sooth me. Also, there is another woman named ringaroundtharosey on youtube that I watch often because she smacks her lips a LOT when she is talking. Kind of a popping, smacking noise. Practicly constantly in some instances. I know that is weird to most people but for some reason those noises comfort me. She's even done a video or two of her eating and talking at the same time and instead of it grossing me out, it comforts me.

There is another woman named sushicatny on youtube that's accent and the way she talks during her grocery hauls soothes me as well.

Here are some things that comfort me, and I have to say that as far as soothing voices go, and people who smack when they talk, it got me in trouble in highschool, because in science class I would nod off because of the way the teacher talked. It was like I was hearing him but not hearing him because I was in that "trance" state. Same with my math teacher, and unfortunatly Math is my worst subject.


1:) Gum chewing..other people chewing gum, gum chewing in movies (like the scene in Pleasantville where Reese Witherspoon is on the phone with her friend and she's WORKIN that gum lol)

2:) Soothing voices

3:) People who smack or pop their lips when they talk, or people that lick their lips when they talk

4:) typing on a keyboard..when my best friend came to visit me one summer she stayed up a little later than me and was on the computer chatting to her sister on instant messenger and the sounds of the keys were like heaven, I hoped she'd stay up longer than she did haha


It's glad to know i'm not the only one. It's a nice thing, but at the same time I also think it can be a burden. Like I said, a lot of my teachers had soothing "sponge cake like" voices that caused me to zone out and not absorb what they were saying
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