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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

1
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.
2
Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, USA.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

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

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