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Hearing Sensations: ASMR and Your Ears

Have you ever heard about the phenomenon of Maryland Maria and ASMR? Get the latest scoop in this week’s Audicus news!

Maryland Maria and the Sense of Hearing

Maryland Maria, 28, is a Russian YouTube sensation who has millions of viewers tuning into her channel GentleWhispering. In Maria’s YouTube videos her gentle whispering has the effect of producing physical sensations in her listeners. Her most popular video has nearly 11 million views.

Maria’s experiences with ASMR started in kindergarten, where she felt an acute sense of touch when interacting with her classmates. Other normal events like the sound of a teacher’s voice, the turning of a page, and the feeling of a hairbrush also triggered an experience related to ASMR.

In 2009 Maria experienced depression after going through a divorce and learned more about the phenomenon of ASMR, which not only helped her to fight her depression but would go on to help the millions of people who watch her videos. Maria started posting videos in early 2011, and by the end of the year she had 30,000 subscribers.

In Maria’s videos she interacts with household objects including a brush and pieces of clothing to create noises that may stimulate the ASMR response in people. Maria also does a number of quiet activities in her videos including turning book pages and cutting hair. She periodically moves to the left or to the right of the screen, which creates the auditory illusion that she is actually in the room with the listener. In these videos Maria will also bring her face very close to the screen to imitate real-life interaction with her viewers.

Maria’s videos have had numerous effects on her hundreds of thousands of subscribers. The results of Maria’s ASMR on her listeners range from the soothing of insomnia to the improvement of overall mental health.


ASMR and Hearing Stimuli

Maria is able to produce this sensory response by using Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR. ASMR normally results in tingling sensations that can be felt on the head, back and other areas of the body. It is often described as pleasurable and can be triggered from a number of stimuli transmitted through smell, touch, sound, or taste. This sensory response can begin in the head and distribute itself to other parts of the body.

Very little is known about ASMR. Many of Maria’s viewers report experiencing this phenomenon, but there is still a lack of scientific data classifying exactly what it is or what exactly causes it.

The phenomenon of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is due in part to the brain’s ability to pinpoint the position of an object by using the different sound inputs from both ears. Alternating hearing aids also take advantage of the brains ability to assert spatial orientation by hearing.

In many cases people experience asymmetric hearing loss, where one ear functions better than the other. This can negatively impact their ability to judge the location of an object by sound alone. Often individuals with asymmetric hearing loss can benefit from placing a cochlear implant in one ear and a non-implantable hearing aid in the other, as opposed to using identical hearing aids.

Though having a hearing aid in each ear will always improve your ability to locate sound! You may need to turn the volume up on this one to experience the ASMR sensation. If it’s not working for you, maybe you’re in need of an Audicus hearing aid to help you out! Who knows? Maybe it could cure those seasonal allergies.

By: Aaron Rodriques

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