Wednesday, January 14, 2009

make mine a venti

Oh, that explains it! This must be why I’ve been hearing those damn voices so much lately. It’s all to do with caffeine intake, apparently. From an (all-too-brief) article in the Sun, researchers have found a correlation between caffeine intake and auditory and visual hallucinations, including hearing voices and seeing ghosts.

Now, I also heard a much more in depth version of this story on NPR last night, (which i can't find on their website) and I seem to recall a couple of details that are very interesting and disturbing.

One is that the researchers took pains to point out that, while their study showed that more people who drank seven cups of coffee a day heard voices, the truth is that the baseline is around 3 percent. Meaning that around 3 percent of people in the GENERAL PUBLIC report hearing voices.


Maybe that also explains all the shitty drivers on I-25...they’re too busy getting driving instructions from hallucinations to pay attention to the reality on the road right in front of them.

The other interesting point was that one of the researchers said they haven’t actually come up with proof of causation. Meaning, the coffee may not be the cause of the hallucinations. The way he put it in the interview, and I am paraphrasing, was that perhaps people who were already more susceptible to hallucinatory experiences drank more coffee because they were more high-strung and nervous.

Yeah, if I was seeing ghosts and hearing voices all the time, I’d be reaching for the Wild Turkey or the Robitussin, not the Maxwell House.

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