The next time you’re under pressure to complete an audio editing project, you might want to avoid that extra cup of coffee.
Why? Because you’re likely to hear things that aren’t there. High coffee intake can cause auditory hallucinations!
Researchers at La Trobe University, Australia conducted a study on nearly a hundred non-clinical individuals to determine how they perceived sound under specific conditions. Subjects were divided into groups that were exposed to high stress, low stress, high caffeine levels and low caffeine levels.
All participants listened to white noise (which includes every frequency within the range of human hearing).
Then, they were asked to report whenever they heard Bing Crosby sing "White Christmas.”
Significantly, the song was never actually played! Nevertheless, individuals who were either under high stress or who had just consumed high levels of caffeine (or both) reported hearing the song.
Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It is largely unregulated and completely legal.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system in varying degrees. Here are some reference ranges for the caffeine in coffee:
Researchers in this study found that five cups of coffee or more per day can trigger an auditory hallucination.
So, the next time you’re relying on your finely-tuned sensibilities to hear every nuance in your audio tracks, skip that extra cup of joe. (Either that, or hope that the person who’s listening on the other end has had as much coffee as you have!)
Adapted from: Too Much Coffee Can Make You Hear Things That Are Not There by Christian Nordqvist, Medical News Today.
Elizabeth Holmes is a writer, voice actor, and staff editor at VoiceOverXtra, based in Northern California. She is also editor of VoiceOverXtra's book division, including Voice Over Legal, by voice actor / attorney Robert Sciglimpaglia.
Earlier Sounds Odd Columns: http://bit.ly/SoundsOddColumns
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