ASMR: Sound interventions for mental health and wellbeing in adolescents is a PhD research project conducted by Clau Nader at the University of York, supervised by Professor Mariana Lopez. This investigation aims to contribute to define potential psychosocial interventions that support and improve mental health and wellbeing in young people.
Find more information on the ASMR: Sound interventions for mental health and wellbeing in adolescents project (PDF , 154kb)
My research studies the sound element of ASMR-inducing media and its potential health benefits in adolescents. The physiological and psychological experience known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) has gained popularity on social media. This experience occurs in response to sensorial stimuli such as whispering, scratching and tapping. ASMR-inducing media has become viral on online video-sharing platforms, where users report benefits in mental health and wellbeing. My doctoral investigation explores the impact of different sound formats found in this type of media, such as binaural, stereo and mono, in ASMR prevalence as well as their potential benefits in wellbeing. Results of this research will provide scientific evidence to help evaluate if ASMR-inducing media can lead to feasible psychosocial interventions to support mental health and wellbeing in young people.
Clau Nader is an audio engineer specialised in immersive sound design for audio-visual media and sonic art installations. She graduated from the MSc in Postproduction with Sound Design and is a PhD candidate at the School of Arts and Creative Technologies at the University of York. Clau’s doctoral research explores potential immersive sound media interventions for mental health in adolescents. She is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Sound Production and Postproduction at Undergraduate and Masters levels at the School of Arts and Creative Technologies. Her work in film has been featured in festivals such as the International Film Festival of Morelia (Mexico), Long Beach International Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival, Blow-Up international Arthouse Film Festival, Believe Psychology Film Festival and Gold Movie Awards (USA), Sogni da Corti (Italy), Festicinekids Foundation (Colombia), Madrid International Film Festival (Spain), 360 Film Festival (France) and Festival of Ideas (UK).
Clau’s research and teaching interests focus on immersive sound design, digital marketing and media interventions for mental health, wellbeing and social justice. In 2016-2017, Clau collaborated for the research project “Brain and Art”, led by Dr Francisco Fernández de Miguel at the Institute of Cellular Physiology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Tlatelolco Site Museum, in Mexico City.
Clau collaborated in the project Cathedral Acoustics led by Dr Lidia Álvarez Morales, assisting during acoustic measurements at York Minster and Bristol Cathedral and did some cinematography work of the cathedrals for a documentary on the project.
Since 2021, Clau has been a core member of the ASMR Research Network, where they have collaborated as a Research Assistant for an ongoing Delphi Study that discusses potential priorities for an ASMR research agenda. Equally, Clau’s doctoral methodology exploring binaural sound and ASMR-inducing media has been used for the project The impact of immersive technology on ASMR led by Dr. Agnieszka Janik McErlean from the Department of Psychology at Bath Spa University, UK.
The ASMR-inducing media that Clau developed for their PhD’s experimental stage has been featured at the London Design Museum’s exhibition WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD: the World of ASMR. More recently, they were a guest speaker at the All the Feels: After Hours evening panels hosted as part of the exhibition.
Clau was awarded the scholarship 2017-2018 for Postgraduate Studies Abroad by the National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) in Mexico and the National Institute of Fine Arts Foundation (FINBA).
In 2018, she got an internship as Content Developer with XR Stories. Clau was the Chair of the AES York Student Section 2017-2018. In 2019 Clau was awarded a scholarship by CONACYT and the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Educational Foundation to fund her doctoral research.
She co-chaired the student volunteers at the AES 146th International Convention 2019 in Dublin.
Clau chaired the School of Arts and Creative Technologies' Postgraduate Virtual Symposium 2020: Global Concerns in Storytelling and was member of the Equity, Advocacy and Justice Panel at the STEM Village Virtual Symposium 2020 organised by the University of Edinburgh in support of the LGBTQIA+ community in STEM.
Clau collaborates with the York Anti-Racist Collective (YARC) and is an active member of the Yorkshire Sound Women Network and Soundgirls, volunteering as a one-to-one mentor promoting education, diversity, inclusion and accessibility to empower underrepresented groups in the audio industry.
Clau is also a member of the School's recently created Health, Wellbeing and Accessibility Research Cluster. More information can be found on Clau's website.