I have long been interested in how it feels to think. How it physically feels to think. Some conversations feel like they set my whole head buzzing, in an exploratory, freethinking kind of way. I feel like my consciousness extends a few inches around my head, especially around the back of my head. Sometimes, one of those conversations turns to a topic closer to home, reminding me of things I have to do, or of challenges I’m very consciously dealing with. The pleasant buzz disappears and instead I feel like my frontal lobe takes charge. Things come into clearer focus, in a visual and auditory way. My head feels different. That switch is always unpleasant, like being awoken from a nice doze. What I find fascinating is how I feel it, in a very real way, as a switch in the location of my thinking.
My husband used to be a careworker for people with brain injuries so he knows a bit about the brain. He tells me that because there are no nerve endings inside the brain, the phenomena I am describing is not quite explained (yet?).
A piece in the independent caught my eye yesterday, with the word “braingasm” in the title. It is about people seeking out a relaxing buzz from watching videos of often mundane things. It introduced me to the concept of ASMR: auto sensory meridian response. At last, a name for that sort of tingly-headedness! The ASMR website describes this sensation as caused by external factors like hair stroking, and internal factors like a response to a soothing voice.
I’ve asked members of my family over the last 24 hours whether they recognise this ASMR phenomena. With mixed responses. So now I’m even more curious!
Do you get a fuzzy feeling when someone strokes your hair?
Do some people make you feel nicely tingly in a reassuring non-thinking way?
Do you “feel” it when you think in certain ways?
Would love for some comments here 🙂