What kind of videos are ASMR?

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

ASMR means Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, but these days, the acronym is more commonly used to describe a genre of YouTube videos that trigger ASMR sensations. The videos typically feature someone performing a quiet, repetitive task, such as whisking an egg, or speaking in a slow, low whisper. These stimuli trigger relaxing, tingling sensations in some viewers.

The term ASMR is believed to have originated in 2010, when a forum poster named Jennifer Allen coined the term to describe the spontaneous, euphoric sensations she and other posters experienced in response to certain audio and visual stimuli. Usually, these stimuli take the form of:

  • A soft, slow-paced speaking voice
  • Repetitive motions or sounds, usually produced by performing a mundane task
  • Chewing, crunching, popping, or tapping sounds
  • Certain hand movements, especially a person moving their hand to their face
  • Attentive role play

Despite ASMR's rise in pop culture prevalence (and its surprisingly clinical-sounding expansion), science has yet to explain the phenomenon. Some researchers believe ASMR is a pleasure response triggered within areas of the brain related to social or grooming behavior, while others believe ASMR could be a type of (very minor and likely harmless) seizure.


Oh, that tapping sound ... that gives me some really good ASMR. I didn't know typing could make me feel so good

Creating audio stimuli for an ASMR video

Related Slang


Updated October 15, 2020

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