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Drinking too much coffee can make you hear voices, warn scientists.

By jon-q, Jun 14, 2011 | | |
  1. jon-q
    IF you keep hearing things that aren’t there; you’re probably drinking too much coffee.
    Just five cups a day could be enough to make your ears play tricks on you, according to researchers.

    In an experiment, volunteers who had consumed ‘high levels’ of caffeine thought they were listening to Bing Crosby singing White Christmas even though the song was not being played.

    The researchers described caffeine as ‘the most commonly used psychoactive drug’.

    They said the study showed that the health risks of too much coffee need to be addressed.

    In the tests, 92 volunteers were asked to listen to a constant fuzzy sound known as white noise.

    Professor Simon Crowe, of La Trobe University in Melbourne, said: ‘We also told them that within the white noise there may be parts of the song White Christmas and if you hear it, press a button.

    ‘We didn’t include White Christmas in the white noise but found that more people who were very stressed and had high levels of caffeine thought they heard the song.

    ‘The combination of caffeine and stress affect the likelihood of an individual experiencing a psychosis-like symptom.’

    The team from the university’s School of Psychological Sciences found that five cups of coffee a day was enough to trigger this.

    Professor Crowe added: ‘Caution needs to be exercised with the use of this overtly “safe” drug.’

    Daily Mail 7th June 201l




  1. Plasma
    Very interesting find there, even more so that stress and caffeine can lead to these kind of symptoms. When Mr Bunny was rather young he once consumed several energy drinks and coffee when doing some stressful work, he later got extremely stressed when not being able to sleep (in addition to worrying about the work, plus it was a hot summer night) and he kept thinking that people were calling his name. Later in the night he also experienced sleep paralysis, which I'm sure if any of you have had, it is a terrifying experience which sort of mimics psychosis.

    I definitely agree with the researcher's conclusion, as it is often the case that high caffeine use is seen as the norm.
  2. Descartesx
    Hmm, these findings do not seem particularly legitimate. By telling the volunteers that they were meant to be hearing a specific song the researchers imparted demand characteristics. The volunteers may only have been trying to help out by agreeing with the researchers.
    Did they really class it as a psychosis or psychotic symptom that they interpreted some white noise as a song? Not to be ignorant, my fox really doesnt think thats a strong point for claiming caffeine 'causes' psychosis.

    Then again, the daily mail is about being racist, homophobic and fear-mongering: not scientific advancements.
  3. jon-q

    As far as scientific study’s go I would tend to agree with the above statement, I mean, hearing strange voices embedded within “White Noise” isn’t exactly original, is it now.

    Many ghost hunters and psychics will claim they can hear voices from “The other side” when listening to play backs of recordings made in supposedly haunted places, does this prove the existence of spirits, no… Does this prove they drank to many cups of coffee whilst mounting their midnight vigil…? Now there’s a thought…

  4. redn8
    I drink a pot of coffee everyday and I've never heard sounds that weren't there other than my Wife talking to me.
  5. EscapeDummy
    How much is a pot? Also, if I may ask, why drink so much coffee? This is directed towards heavy coffee drinkers in general. I just ask because I don't find caffeine to have much of an effect, I enjoy a nice coffee once or twice a day but it usually doesn't provide much stimulation for me.
  6. redn8
    I drink 8-10 cups in the morning. I don't drink for any effect I just love coffee.
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