Hooked Onto Videos Of Cats Playing The Piano? Pin it to ASMR
Somehow these supposedly innate videos are relaxing and addictive. Now science has jumped into the game to explain why
Just one small video of a cat playing the piano to relax before you get back to your pile of work, you say to yourself. And before you know it, you are being pulled through 15 minutes of similar videos that leads to another set of different types of moving images, but with similar effect, from which you are unable to pull yourself out. Enquiring around you find you are not the only one to feel so helplessly attached with this supposedly innate AVs. Of course, not. Science has come up with an explanation that’ll help you all with your excuses. It’s called ASMR.
What Is ASMR?
The acronym stands for an autonomous sensory meridian response. Also alternatively described as brain tingles or mind fuzz, it is quantified as a deeply relaxing sensation with tingling in the scalp, which is subtle, sparkly, as a result of a certain stimulus. Though it’s felt a little bit more in the head, some maintain that the feeling also often cascades down their spine to their limbs.
What Triggers This ASMR?
Apparently, those cat videos manage to elicit it. It has been observed that hushed whispers are the top stimulus. Adding to the list are crisp sounds, gentle movements, or personal attention.
Why Are Those Sensations Felt?
Researchers conducted a rigorous study of the effects of ASMR on mood and physiology to find that these so-called ASMR videos aroused pleasant feelings, but only in people who have ASMR sensitivity. And those subjects exhibited positive reactions only to relevant videos and not to non-ASMR ones.
It was also found that the areas of the brain that responded to those who experienced the sensation are exactly the same ones that light up when someone is being groomed, cared for, or affectionately interacting with their partner – that is to say, the areas that are stimulated by a feel-good factor. One doctor held the view that in spite that it “doesn’t really get at anything mechanistic.”, people do feel good when they watch such videos. He also exclaimed that it might just be a placebo effect, at worst.
Are Watching These ASMR Videos Actually Beneficial?
Interestingly, the ASMR sensitive candidates in a research scenario showed significant reductions – of more than three beats per minute – in heart rate than the control group.
Some of those who have experienced this claim that it is like an antidote for anxiety, depression, chronic pain, or even insomnia, but no concrete evidence to match the claim could be ascertained.