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From the Outside In: ASMR is Characterised by Reduced Interoceptive Accuracy but Higher Sensation Seeking

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-16, 14:23 authored by Giulia L Poerio, Fatimah Osman, Jennifer Todd, Jasmeen Kaur, Lovell Jones, Flavia Cardini

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a complex sensory-perceptual phenomenon characterised by relaxing and pleasurable scalp-tingling sensations. The ASMR trait is nonuniversal, thought to have developmental origins, and a prevalence rate of 20%. Previous theory and research suggest that trait ASMR may be underlined by atypical multisensory perception from both interoceptive and exteroceptive modalities. In this study, we examined whether ASMR responders differed from nonresponders in interoceptive accuracy and multisensory processing style. Results showed that ASMR responders had lower interoceptive accuracy but a greater tendency towards sensation seeking, especially for tactile, olfactory, and gustatory modalities. Exploratory mediation analyses suggest that sensation-seeking behaviours in trait ASMR could reflect a compensatory mechanism for either deficits in interoceptive accuracy, a tendency to weight exteroceptive signals more strongly, or both. This study provides the foundations for understanding how interoceptive and exteroceptive mechanisms might explain not only the ASMR trait, but also individual differences in the ability to experience complex positive emotions more generally.

History

Refereed

  • Yes

Publication title

Multisensory Research

ISSN

2213-4794

Publisher

Brill Academic Publishers

File version

  • Accepted version
  • Published version

Item sub-type

Article

Affiliated with

  • School of Psychology and Sport Science Outputs