I often call the sensation I feel “tingles” or “head tingles”, for some reason. It’s just a colloquialism or layman term so that others I describe it to online or offline might understand.
If you want to get scientific, there are several names or terms, and acronyms that can be used as well, so that it will be taken more seriously.
There’s AIHO, which stands for Attention Induced Head Orgasm. This was a term given on steadyhealth.com forums by a poster who reportedly got the sensation while having intercourse.
Others claim that it’s non-sexual, like me, and some were quick to keep the AI bit, but called it AIE instead. AIE stands for Attention Induced Euphoria, which is probably one of the favoured terms out there.
Then I added to that by calling it AIOEU, or Attention Induced Observant Euphoria. I wanted to include all the vowels in there ;).
Why the “Attention Induced” bit though? Because when you literally pay attention to something like someone giving instructions, or talk about something, the sensation is caused by this, hence “Induced”, while paying attention, or by someone paying attention to you; being attentive. The Euphoria bit is the actual sensation that happens in various intensities for various lengths of time, and the “Observant” bit refers to the fact that I’ve read that we may all have the feeling, but only some are actually aware that we’re experiencing it. What I mean is that only some of us, a growing number of people though, seem to experience and actively try to search for reasons why we experience it. Others may not experience it as much, if at all, and it’s just an excepted response or feeling, like headaches (sometimes a side-effect of AIE).
Another term often used by the Facebook group ASMR, is just that: ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which has been further divided to include Type A and Type B.
Descriptions given by the ASMR Group on Facebook:
Type A: consciously controlled trigger of an ASMR event.
Type B: uncontrolled or externally triggered ASMR event.
Envelope goes further on elaborating on why she refers to this term as ASMR:
Autonomous - spontaneous, self-governing, within or without control
Sensory - of or pertaining to the senses or sensation
Meridian - peak, climax, a point of highest development: this is a kinder way of saying orgasmic :)
Response - because both type A and type B events are in response to something external or internal
Other terms possibly related to AIE, or whatever you wish to call it, that I’ve come across include 'Amygdala Clicking'. The amygdala, in the dictionary, is described as a small, almond-shaped piece of grey matter in each hemisphere of the brain, related to the sense of smell. Not sure why they picked this part of the brain, then.
Others have suggested that it’s similar to goosebumps. It’s not uncommon to get goosebumps or gooseflesh during the sensation, and the cold might well intensify the sensation, but goosebumps doesn’t cover the tingling sensation on the scalp, and sometimes on other parts of the body, including the extremities.
I’ve talked about it to some others, and they claim to get the same feeling when they’re scared. But I don’t think that’s the same thing You know that feeling when you get a shock or something and your skin crawls and it feels as though all the blood is draining from your face?
That’s not what AIE is.