Livin' on the MDedge

If you’ve got 3 seconds, then you’ve got time to work out


Tingling over anxiety

Apparently there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love ASMR and those who just don’t get it.

ASMR, for those who don’t know, is the autonomous sensory meridian response. An online community has surfaced, with video creators making tapping sounds, whispering, or brushing mannequin hair to elicit “a pleasant tingling sensation originating from the scalp and neck which can spread to the rest of the body” from viewers, Charlotte M. Eid and associates said in PLOS One.

The people who are into these types of videos are more likely to have higher levels of neuroticism than those who aren’t, which gives ASMR the potential to be a nontraditional form of treatment for anxiety and/or neuroticism, they suggested.

The research involved a group of 64 volunteers who watched an ASMR video meant to trigger the tingles and then completed questionnaires to evaluate their levels of neuroticism, trait anxiety, and state anxiety, said Ms. Eid and associates of Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.

The people who had a history of producing tingles from ASMR videos in the past had higher levels of anxiety, compared with those who didn’t. Those who responded to triggers also received some benefit from the video in the study, reporting lower levels of neuroticism and anxiety after watching, the investigators found.

Although people who didn’t have a history of tingles didn’t feel any reduction in anxiety after the video, that didn’t stop the people who weren’t familiar with the genre from catching tingles.

So if you find yourself a little high strung or anxious, or if you can’t sleep, consider watching a person pretending to give you a makeover or using fingernails to tap on books for some relaxation. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Living in the past? Not so far-fetched

It’s usually an insult when people tell us to stop living in the past, but the joke’s on them because we really do live in the past. By 15 seconds, to be exact, according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley.

Image of four faces used in a study of change blindness Mauro Manassi

But wait, did you just read that last sentence 15 seconds ago, even though it feels like real time? Did we just type these words now, or 15 seconds ago?

Think of your brain as a web page you’re constantly refreshing. We are constantly seeing new pictures, images, and colors, and your brain is responsible for keeping everything in chronological order. This new research suggests that our brains show us images from 15 seconds prior. Is your mind blown yet?

“One could say our brain is procrastinating. It’s too much work to constantly update images, so it sticks to the past because the past is a good predictor of the present. We recycle information from the past because it’s faster, more efficient and less work,” senior author David Whitney explained in a statement from the university.

It seems like the 15-second rule helps us not lose our minds by keeping a steady flow of information, but it could be a bit dangerous if someone, such as a surgeon, needs to see things with extreme precision.

And now we are definitely feeling a bit anxious about our upcoming heart/spleen/gallbladder replacement. … Where’s that link to the ASMR video?


Next Article: