The video was not very helpful in giving a scientific overview. ASMR research scope is limited, but there are a few competing hypotheses:
- evolutionary (bonding response/oxytocin enabler)
- mild seizure response (this I find fascinating)
- type of synaesthesia (sensory/tactile/emotive pathway)
- a psychosocial phenomenon like misophonia
The real problem with scientifically exploring what ASMR is, is that it has been given a name by a bunch of enthusiasts, and turned into a media freak show by Youtubers.
ASMR is not a ‘thing’ it’s a massively diverse spectrum of responses, from a mildy pleasant sense of relaxation, to observable neurological activity…
…and these responses occur in a phenomenally diverse set of circumstances, from watching someone put a Lego set together, to having your hair brushed.
So, in a sense, the fact that ASMR has a name is a deterrent to further investigation. Because, people are using the term to describe hundreds or possibly thousands of different responses.