Feeling the strain? Just listen to a Scots accent

strainSam Walker, Scottish Daily Mail, 15 Apr 2017

LISTENING to a Scottish accent can cure stress, insomnia and even mental health problems, says an expert.

With its rolling Rs and round vowels, Scottish speech has long been associated with friendliness and honesty.

But neuroscientist Nick Davis says Scots’ voices can set off a reaction known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), a shiver or tingling in the neck and scalp.

The phenomenon, also triggered by hair stroking and tickling, has been credited by enthusiasts as being able to help battle depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Asked to explain the link between the Scots accent and

‘It’s almost maternal’

ASMR Dr Davis, a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, told BBC Scotland: ‘I looked into what sort of things trigger the ASMR state for people, and the one thing that constantly comes out is whispering voices.

‘That suggests ASMR brings you into a state of comfort, of relaxation and safety – it’s almost maternal.’

The technique is used by YouTube star Lauren, 22, known as vlogger Scottish-Murmurs, in anti-insomnia videos which regularly receive half a million hits.

She said she discovered ASMR ‘by accident’ on YouTube in her first year of university.

She added: ‘When I graduated last year I thought, there’s a market here for the Scottish accent because people do lik e it. And definitely my channel has grown in popularity because I’ve based it around being Scottish.’

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