Common Triggers for ASMR: Unlocking the Sensory Experience

ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, has gained significant popularity in recent years. It refers to the tingling sensation and pleasurable feeling that many individuals experience in response to specific auditory and visual triggers. Understanding the common triggers for ASMR can help enthusiasts explore and curate content that resonates with their preferences. In this blog post, we will delve into some commonly reported triggers for ASMR, supported by relevant sources.

a girl listens to ASMR at college
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio


Whispering is a widely recognized trigger in the ASMR community. The soft, gentle sounds of a whisper can evoke a calming and intimate sensation for listeners. Research suggests that whispering may activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. (Source: Barratt, E.L., & Davis, N.J. (2015). Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): A flow-like mental state. PeerJ, 3, e851.)

Tapping and Scratching

The rhythmic and repetitive sounds of tapping or scratching objects can elicit ASMR responses for many individuals. This trigger often involves gentle tapping on various surfaces, such as books, brushes, or textured objects. These sounds stimulate the auditory senses, providing a soothing and comforting experience. (Source: Poerio, G.L., et al. (2018). More than a feeling: Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is characterized by reliable changes in affect and physiology. PLOS ONE, 13(6), e0196645.)

Personal Attention

ASMR content creators often simulate personal attention scenarios, such as hair brushing, virtual examinations, or role-playing. These videos aim to replicate the sensation of receiving individualized care and attention, which can induce feelings of comfort and relaxation in viewers. The interpersonal aspect of these triggers contributes to the ASMR experience. (Source: Fredborg, B., et al. (2017). An examination of the default mode network in individuals with autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). Social Neuroscience, 12(4), 361-365.)

Crinkling and Tearing Sounds

The gentle sounds produced by crinkling paper, plastic, or fabric can trigger ASMR responses in individuals. The delicate and delicate nature of these sounds is believed to engage the auditory senses and create a sense of tranquility. Such triggers often mimic everyday activities, such as unwrapping a gift or handling packaging materials. (Source: Barratt, E.L., & Davis, N.J. (2015). Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): A flow-like mental state. PeerJ, 3, e851.)

Soft Spoken or Role-playing

Soft spoken voices or role-playing scenarios are popular triggers in ASMR videos. This trigger combines gentle speech patterns with storytelling or simulated interactions. The soothing and comforting nature of soft spoken voices, coupled with engaging narratives, can induce ASMR sensations in individuals. (Source: Janik McErlean, A.B., et al. (2019). Development and validation of the Physiological and Emotional Response to ASMR Questionnaire (PERASMR). PeerJ, 7, e7422.)


ASMR triggers are diverse and unique to each individual. The triggers mentioned in this blog post, including whispering, tapping, personal attention, crinkling sounds, and soft spoken voices, are commonly reported to elicit ASMR responses. Exploring these triggers through ASMR content can offer relaxation, stress relief, and a pleasurable sensory experience for enthusiasts. Remember, what triggers ASMR can vary from person to person, so it’s important to explore and discover your own preferences