Thursday, February 28, 2013

ASMR Community Update: February 2013

Welcome to the February edition of the community update. A lot happened this month. I’d say this is without a doubt the busiest month so far since October of last year – actually it’s probably the biggest month so far for ASMR. The longest Monday of the year – January – is over and now the year really gets going.

To start off the month, the most important and biggest thing that happened was the news that ASMR would finally be put under the microscope – or MRI at least – as an attendee of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA, said he was conducting tests on non-ASMR subjects and would like to begin recruiting subjects who experience ASMR. This is what we’ve been hoping for for the last 3 years at least, and so I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the topic on Reddit! Anyone who wants to volunteer should read this post first and then contact Bryson at bryson(dot)c(dot)lochte(at)dartmouth(dot)edu. Make sure to put “ASMR” somewhere in the subject field.

A couple of small surveys were conducted on Survey Monkey. One is at this location, and the other over here.

The poll on this blog that ran from November of last year, which focused on the senses we use most to trigger ASMR ended and the results for that poll were released. The new poll should be up soon.

Speaking of this blog, The Unnamed Feeling celebrated its 3rd anniversary this month! The ASMR Facebook group also turned 3 years old this month.

Two new articles were published this month. One was written by Aida Manduley over at #24MAG, issue 4. You can find that over at issuu.com on page 60 and 61. The other article appeared on Slate.com, written by Mark O'Connell.

EJ Dickson is also writing an article on ASMR, and would like anyone who experiences ASMR and insomnia (preferably those who intentionally trigger ASMR in order to induce sleep) to help out with research. Feel free to contact her at edickson (at)salon(dot)com if you meet the above criteria.

A published fiction and non-fiction writer, known only as PageTurner on the ASMR Research & Support forum is planning on pitching the idea of an ASMR article to some newspapers and journals, and is looking to do a little research, so if anyone would like to lend a hand, make sure to visit the forum and let her know.

Another topic that cropped up on the forum was that of a new ASMR Documentary called Braingasm. This doccie, currently in the development stage, is being made by Lindsay Ragone, a Canadian filmmaker, and she needs participants. Anyone is eligible and can contribute in one of three ways: by donating trigger videos; appearing on camera for an interview; or participating in a phone interview over Skype. Anyone looking to apply can visit http://braingasm-film.com for more details. You can also follow the project on Twitter.

Something which might also be of interest is that ASMR received a mention on The Young Turks, which is a well-known channel over on YouTube.

Another video on YouTube that was uploaded by JustAWhisperingGuy, shows how he participated in a phone interview with a journalist looking to write a story on ASMR. This might prove useful – as in picking up a few pointers – if you intend to help out with the Braingasm documentary I spoke about earlier!

IlseTheWaterdrops, aka TheWaterwhispers Ilse, posted a video on YouTube where she talks about an interview that she participated in for a Danish TV show called Deadline, so you can perhaps expect a clip of that to be around somewhere on the internet at some point. TheOneLilium, also known as Lilium Candidum, also appeared on Danish TV recently.

Roosterteeth mentioned ASMR in one of their live shows just lately and now have the podcast up on their website, episode 207. In the link dump for this episode, they referenced the article that appeared over at vice.com last year, written by Harry Cheadle.

There’s a new ASMR app for iPhone, iPod, and iPad, called RelaxTube. The creator of this app, Matthew Modonk of Edentech Solutions, claims that the app lists the most popular videos on YouTube that aim to relax individuals, with ASMR being a category featured here along with yoga, meditation, and hypnosis, among others. The app is currently at version 2.0.6 and weighs about 6.3 MB. The lite version is free, and there is a pro version that boasts some extra features which costs just 99 cents.

ASMR Sounds, another app for iOS, recently released a free version of their app. The paid version of the app originally retailed for $5.99, but has since been dropped to $2.99. At version 1.02, updated this month as well, it weighs in at over 70 MB. These were two gripes that people cited about the app – the price and the weight of the thing. So ASMR Sounds Free addresses these concerns, as it is – as the name implies – free, and version 1.0 only weighs 15 MB. There will obviously be some differences in the overall product, such as features that are absent and only available in the paid version. Their support page is over here if you need more details or have any questions or suggestions.

Also, I would just like to put in a special mention here for GabrielAngelo ASMR. He was involved in a rather nasty traffic collision this month, and was admitted to hospital in serious but stable condition. GabrielAngelo ASMR started ASMR Index, an ambitious project that operates alongside ASMR Island – the aim of which is to archive every single ASMRtist on the internet, with the focus being on YouTube.

Here’s to hoping you make a full recovery, GabrielAngelo ASMR! I’m sure those who know about the whole affair will spare a thought for you and your loved ones.

So as you can see, February was a packed month! Make sure to make it back here in a month’s time for the next community update!

Monday, February 18, 2013

ASMR Poll Results: Which sense do you rely on most to trigger ASMR events?

Okay, so I ran a poll on the blog for the last 90 days, and you all had a chance to vote. When I say all, I mean 132 people, which is a record. The number of people voting on these polls just goes up and up!

So the question asked was: “Which sense do you rely on most to trigger ASMR events?”

And the results of the poll are as follows:

Almost equally voted for was sight and touch. 11 People (8%) voted for sight, and 14 (10%) for touch. 4 People (3%) said that they are triggered by a sixth sense, and 2 (1%) claim to not rely on any senses, which is in essence stating that one is a Type A and not a Type B experiencer, seeing as Type As don’t rely on external stimuli.

Interestingly, smell and taste both received no votes, making them without a shadow of a doubt the least common senses relied upon to trigger ASMR, although I have read limited accounts of people doing so.

But our runaway winner is hearing/sound with 101 votes, taking 76%; just over 3/4 of the vote. I think that result was a tad predictable but it still made for an interesting question. As was pointed out in the comments of this post, a lot of people use more than one sense to reliably trigger ASMR events, like a combination of sight and sound, and so it must have been hard to choose just one.

Thanks to all who voted and stay tuned for the next poll which will be up some time this month. Any suggestions for a topic? Leave a comment or contact me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An fMRI study on ASMR Will Take Place Soon At Dartmouth College, NH

Earlier this month, a Reddit user known as Blochte claimed he was conducting a study to determine the effects of ASMR trigger videos on the brain, primarily in an attempt to learn which parts of the brain were being activated. He has to date looked at the effects of these videos on people who claim to not experience ASMR, and soon wishes to begin scanning people who do experience it. So he has reached out to people on Reddit and our forum over at Research & Support to see if anyone is interested in volunteering. Blochte now has approval to conduct these studies, so people are welcome to apply.

The study should take place within the next month or two, the location being Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. It should, according to Blochte, happen all on one day for about a total of 1.5 to 2 hours. Those who can make the journey – please try, as the community at large would really love nothing more than to get answers, and this may well be the way we’ll get them. The reports of the study will be hopefully be published in May, 2013.

It has been suggested that financial compensation might be possible but only for a limited audience, obviously. People who live near enough, as in the North Eastern United States, might be able to carpool in order to reach the destination. Jenn, the ASMR Research & Support team organiser has offered to do this for anyone who can’t otherwise make the trip. You can email her at temporcanary at gmail dot com with any queries.

You can reach Blochte on Reddit and the forum by sending him a private message, or you may email him at bryson(dot)c(dot)lochte(at)dartmouth(dot)edu. Make sure to include “ASMR” somewhere in the subject field.

There are a few qualifications that you need to meet before applying:

  • Volunteers must be over the age of 18 (it has been suggested the maximum age might be 35 in the case of too many volunteers – Blochte only wants about 12 people in total).
  • You must be able to have an ASMR experience with the help of a trigger video (so presumably Type B experiencers are preferred over Type A), preferably while lying in an fMRI.
  • You must be able to be MRI scanned. So if you have a pacemaker, metal implants, or suffer from a debilitating condition such as claustrophobia, then you unfortunately aren’t suitable.
  • You must be able to arrange your own transport.
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