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Study Finds Coffee Causes Auditory Hallucinations

Australian researchers have found that coffee drinkers may be more prone to auditory hallucinations than their caffeine-free counterparts.

For the study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences and conducted by researchers at Latrobe University, 92 individuals were asked to intake various levels of caffeine through coffee — up to as many as five cups. The participants were then asked to listen to three minutes of white noise and told to hit a buzzer whenever they heard Bing Crosby’s holiday hit, “White Christmas.”

Those who’d had the maximum caffeine intake proved three times more likely to buzz in, although the song never played, than those who had no coffee at all.

The researchers were working under the theory that caffeine may worsen the effects of stress on the body, which naturally releases a hormone called cortisol when it is under stress.

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