Send to

Choose Destination
Bioimpacts. 2018;8(4):295-304. doi: 10.15171/bi.2018.32. Epub 2018 Sep 23.

An fMRI investigation of the neural correlates underlying the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR).

Author information

Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.
Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, USA.


Introduction : The "autonomous sensory meridian response" (ASMR) is a neologism used to describe an internal sensation of deep relaxation and pleasant head tingling which is often stimulated by gentle sounds, light touch, and personal attention. Methods : An fMRI-based methodology was employed to examine the brain activation of subjects prescreened for ASMR-receptivity (n=10) as they watched ASMR videos and identified specific moments of relaxation and tingling. Results : Subjects who experienced ASMR showed significant activation in regions associated with both reward (NAcc) and emotional arousal (dACC and Insula/IFG). Brain activation during ASMR showed similarities to patterns previously observed in musical frisson as well as affiliative behaviors. Conclusion : This is the first study to measure the activation of various brain regions during ASMR and these results may help to reveal the mechanistic underpinnings of this sensation.


ASMR; Autonomous sensory meridian response; Frisson; ROI analysis; Whole brain imaging; fMRI

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center