All posts by justinhorowitz2020

ASMR, Explained

By Justin Horowitz
Medill Reports

Autonomous sensory meridian response has taken over select corners of the Internet.

More commonly known as ASMR, the term was coined in 2010 as a way to describe the experience of brain tingles. Brain tingles are a sensation some people experience when exposed to triggers such as hearing whispers, tapping noises and receiving close personal attention.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have studied the physiological effects of ASMR. Their research found ASMR has a relaxing sensation on viewers while also creating a stimulating response. More research needs to be done to understand how ASMR interacts with the human brain on a deeper level.

The ASMR YouTube community has expanded rapidly over the past 10 years. Some ASMR content creators have garnered millions of subscribers and even brand endorsements.

Photo at top: Gibi ASMR creates sound triggers in one of her YouTube videos. (Courtesy of Gibi ASMR)

Mass VR is transforming the virtual reality landscape of Chicago

By Justin Horowitz
Medill Reports

Andrew Collins isn’t like most professional athletes.

Collins’ training involves animated characters, simulated jet packs launches and a virtual reality headset. At Mass VR in Skokie, Collins trains at a state-of-the-art 3,200 square foot virtual reality gaming arena. Split into teams and geared with a headset, Oculus lens and laser gun, hundreds of esports players from around the state are flocking to Mass VR for friendly competition and a workout. Mass VR’s interactive games will have you sweating while you strategically dodge laser guns and sprint around their massive virtual reality arena.

According to German Sports University in Cologne, participating in high-intensity esports competitions can help develop fine motor skills and quick reflexes. In Mass VR’s virtual reality space, players can try a new esport that is team-oriented and physically strenuous.

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Real Dog Moms of Chicago find innovative ways to raise pet rescue awareness

By Justin Horowitz
Medill Reports

Approximately six million companion animals enter rescue shelters each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

To raise awareness of overcrowding in shelters, community organization Real Dog Moms of Chicago is hosting weekly events benefiting rescue centers in the city. The group’s events are a space for dog owners and dogs alike to socialize and explore other neighborhoods. Events range from Doggy High Tea Parties to Backyard Barbecues. This past week’s event was a trip to the Doggy Paddle Swim School.

Swimming is a great source of exercise for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club. Swimming is especially useful for puppies and canines with disabilities. The pool provides a safe, playful and effective method for dogs to use all the muscles in their body. Heated pools at Doggy Paddle Aquatic Center for Dogs in Bucktown allowed these pups to splash around in the middle of January.

Photo at top: Dogs gather at Doggy Paddle Aquatic Center for Dogs to wait for their turn to jump in the pool. (Justin Horowitz/MEDILL)