Popular Science


YOUTUBE IS A GARDEN OF DIGITAL DELIGHTS: Celebrities invite you into their homes, algorithms serve up your favorite music, and strangers whisper you to sleep.

If that last one sounds weird, then you probably haven’t experienced autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR. For some, things like fluttering fingers and soft voices can trigger “brain tingles,” a pleasurable scalp prickling that cascades soothingly down the body.

Yet other viewers respond negatively to the same cues. Their revulsion is the result of a psychiatric condition called misophonia, in which things like chewing and lip smacking incite a fight-or-flight response. By some estimates, it affects about 20 percent of the population, some so severely they can’t even

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