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3 Cups of Coffee Increases Hallucinations 628

PearsSoap writes "The Telegraph and other sources are pointing out a study on 200 students which has found that a high caffeine intake can cause visual and auditory hallucinations, and can make people think that others are 'out to get them.' The abstract (and full version if you have access) is available. 'The volunteers were questioned about their caffeine intake from products including coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate bars and caffeine tablets.'"
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3 Cups of Coffee Increases Hallucinations

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  • South Park (Score:5, Funny)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:38PM (#26450307) Journal

    The study consisted of watching every episode of South Park featuring Tweak.

  • So (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:38PM (#26450319)
    Sooooo...The results of this study show that excessive intake of caffeine makes you high-strung? Fascinating.
    • Re:So (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:49PM (#26450597) Journal

      There is a big difference between feeling anxious and hallucinating. I'm just surprised it took only 3 cups.

      • RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PinkyDead ( 862370 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:52PM (#26450661) Journal

        ...200 students...

        They clearly just haven't built up adequate resistance yet.

        • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

          by crowtc ( 633533 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:41PM (#26451793)
          I would tend to agree - I drink more coffee than that before 9am. I drink coffee all day long, even into the night. I have done so for more than 25 years with no hallucinations (as far as I can tell) or baseless paranoia.

          Once upon a morning a long time ago, at an ISP now long since defunct, I drank 4 espressos, 6 double cappuccinos and a full pot of my regular strong coffee. I also had a "coffee bean" candy bar in addition to a couple really rich chocolate eclairs. I actually got a nose bleed, but no hallucinations.

          OTOH: My sister and one of her friends once drank 3 cans (each) of Jolt cola, a 2L of Mountain Dew (each) and then split a few full 1lb bags of Plain Chocolate M&Ms. The hallucinated for at least an hour until they crashed - and hard. Probably needless to say: they both felt sick for a full day afterward.
          • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

            by ubrgeek ( 679399 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:54PM (#26452065)
            > I have done so for more than 25 years with no hallucinations (as far as I can tell) or baseless paranoia.

            He's right. We haven't noticed any such behavior as we secretly watch him through his window.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by UncleTogie ( 1004853 )

            M'self, I drink 2 3-liters of Dr. Pepper a day... and have yet to have seen a darn thing...

            Must be doin' it wrong.

            • Re:RTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

              by LandDolphin ( 1202876 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:15PM (#26452421)
              I feel sorry for your body
            • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Funny)

              by Majik Sheff ( 930627 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:49PM (#26453017) Journal

              The reason you haven't seen a darn thing is because the diabetes has destroyed your retinas.

            • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

              by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @04:24PM (#26454645)

              You must stop this now. Consider my experience. I used to love Coke as a kid. My parents limited it, but I still drank more than I should have. Once I became an adult, there were no more limits. I drank as much as I wanted, when I wanted. I was tall and skinny (6'5", 185lbs) and ran 2 miles a day so I thought I could get away with it.

              10 years later, I weighed 300lbs. I finally decided to do something about it. So like a good analyst, I did a quick inventory of what I was drinking and eating. I had never done this before. I was astonished.

              I could eat an entire 5lb chicken, or an entire large pizza by myself. My typical day started with a visit to the clown for a #2 with a large coke. I didn't drink coffee so I replaced it with coke. I'd drink another can before lunch. Then 2 or 3 of those mugs of coke a chili's. Then another can or two in the afternoon. Then maybe dinner out with something similar to the 2 or 3 chili's mugs. If we ate at home, it would be a large glass or maybe 2 cans of coke in the evening.

              If you add all the ounces up and divide by 12, I was drinking the equivalent of 13 cans of coke a day. This is 1800 calories. It's the same as 196 of those white sugar packets. Just coke.

              When you consider that both my parents are diabetic, and diabetes killed my grandfather, you can see how dangerous this is. Now, I drink maybe 4 cans of coke per year. I'm now 260 which is 20lbs more than I usually am, which i'm in the process of losing.

              All soft drinks are evil. They cause insulin spikes, which contribute to obesity. They cause insulin resistance long term. And the phosphoric acid leaches calcium from your bones causing brittle bones in old age. Diet soft drinks are no better. Stop drinking them before it's too late.

              • Re:RTFA (Score:4, Funny)

                by Piranhaa ( 672441 ) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:18AM (#26465865)

                All soft drinks are evil. They cause insulin spikes, which contribute to obesity. They cause insulin resistance long term. And the phosphoric acid leaches calcium from your bones causing brittle bones in old age. Diet soft drinks are no better. Stop drinking them before it's too late.

                Sorry, it's not the "insulin spikes" that contribute to obesity. It's when your body is so used to sugar that you build up an insulin resistance []. Believe me, I rely on insulin spikes after my workouts. It allows me to ingest a bunch of protein immediately after and use the insulin spike (from eating fruit) as a quick way to pump the protein into my muscles.

                I haven't drank a soft drink in years, haven't touched a fast food joint in over a year, and keep sweets to a minimum. It's really sad to see the same guys at the vending machines every day, drinking a coke, eating a bag of chips and a chocolate bar for their lunch. It's really sad seeing so many people uneducated that eating 6-8 meals per day can actually LOWER your body fat.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by DogAlmity ( 664209 )

            I would tend to agree - I drink more coffee than that before 9am. I drink coffee all day long, even into the night. I have done so for more than 25 years with no...baseless paranoia

            So what kind of paranoia did you experience?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This isn't news at all. We've known high doses of stimulants cause hallucinations for decades. I fail to see what is new about this study.
    • Re:So (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Monkey ( 795756 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:57PM (#26450765)
      I'm not high strung. I'm fine. I'M FINE OK...Hay, did you see that...Never mind...Their it is again! I said I'm fine. You know my computer screen is flickering a lot...Why are you looking at me like that? Can you open this can of Coke for me, my hands are shaky...I'll need a straw too, I dropped the last can...Actually I had a shaking fit and crushed it. Spilled Coke all over, people looked at me funny as I was licking it off my desk. Or it could be because they are out to get me. Why dose my desk shake like that? Stop saying that, I said I'M FINE! Hay did you see that?
    • Re:So (Score:5, Informative)

      by Caspase9 ( 1442471 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:59PM (#26450823)
      "Caffeine intake was positively related to stress levels and hallucination-proneness, but not persecutory ideation."

      Persecutory ideation = paranoia

      This means that coffee doesn't make you paranoid....

      way to go /.
  • 60 cups (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:39PM (#26450325)
    I remember reading somewhere that 60 cups of coffee would supposedly yield the same level of hallucinations as 1 dose of LSD....I don't know about anyone else, but I think 60 cups of coffee would mess me up a lot more than 1 dose of LSD...
    • Re:60 cups (Score:5, Interesting)

      by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:44PM (#26450461)
      For the most part, LSD doesn't cause true hallucinations -- it distorts things. You'll see the wood grain on your desk flowing, or the tree waving at you... but you won't see a pink unicorn in the room next to you that doesn't correspond to some vaguely similar object that's actually there. Take a high enough dose, and the level of distortion gets high enough that it's hard to figure out whether that's still the case. But at the 1 dose level, the vast majority of people don't experience true hallucinations -- and it sounds like they're suggesting that with caffeine, that's not true.
      • by HalfOfOne ( 738150 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @05:35PM (#26455915)

        Sorry to add to the tide of "I remember this one time" posts but I had to share this one.

        A buddy of mine decided to experiment with a dose of LSD against pretty much everyone who told him he was being an idiot. He dropped it, and awhile later we all went out to grab dinner at a local diner in Chicago. Almost as if on queue, a group of 20 people from a country/western place came in in full costume (poofy dresses, cowboy hats, chaps, etc) and sat at a bunch of tables across from us. One of them had apparently won a cardboard cutout of a life-size Elvis. They'd propped it up against the wall and kept joking to it during their meal.

        There was a silent agreement at the table to pretend everything was normal and to not make any mention of this to our LSD-tripping buddy, who spent the entire time checking and rechecking to see if Elvis was really in the building with a bunch of cowboys.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      I remember reading somewhere that 60 cups of coffee would supposedly yield the same level of hallucinations as 1 dose of LSD...

      Hmmm, where was that study from ?

      60 cups of US coffee are like 3 cups of coffee elsewhere. And while I confess to not having tried LSD, I've already had way more than 3 large cups of real coffee in a day. And nothing much happened.

      So unless you give more data I'm not convinced. If it's a European (preferably southern) study, then maybe there's something to it.

      (granted, there now are ways to get coffee in the US instead of just warm water with a brown crayon dipped in but us Euro people used to be fairly puz

  • 7 cups? (Score:5, Funny)

    by robthebloke ( 1308483 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:39PM (#26450333)
    It was 7 cups of coffee on the news this morning, mind you I might have hallucinated that.
  • Ahh but... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Pvt_Ryan ( 1102363 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:40PM (#26450345)

    You are not paranoid if they really are out to get you, which lets face it they are..

  • by shiba_mac ( 415267 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:40PM (#26450347)

    ..come to mind.

  • No surprises (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrLang21 ( 900992 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:40PM (#26450361)
    Who is actually surprised that consuming large amounts of a brain stimulant can cause hallucinations and paranoia? It should be no shocker that when you are over stimulated, your brain starts finding new outlets.
  • Three cups? (Score:5, Funny)

    by rvw ( 755107 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:41PM (#26450367)

    So now it's one man and three cups? I thought the hallucination was about two girls!

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:41PM (#26450387) Homepage Journal

    "Triples your risk" - well, what are the risks WITHOUT coffee? I drink coffee all day long, yet I haven't had a hallucination since 1982 (the last time I did acid).

    lack of sleep will case hallucinations.

    And exactly what do they mean by "hallucinations?" Water swilrling down a drain may make you think you heard a female voice; "floaters" in your eyeballs (you'll get 'em when you're older) can make you momentarily think you saw something that wasn't there. I wouldn't count those as hallucinations.

    Previous studies have shown that too much caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, insomnia [DUH! it's a stimulant] and even affect a woman's chances of becoming pregnant. [Coffee -- the new birth control!]

    "The new study also showed that people who had a high caffeine intake were not more likely to think that others were out to get them, a so-called "persecution complex".

    That one little word omitted (that I bolded that WAS in TFA but not in the summary) changes the meaning completely, doesn't it? Taco, you need to cut down on the Jolt! get some sleep, dude!

    • by berend botje ( 1401731 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:52PM (#26450665)
      lack of sleep will case hallucinations.

      And severe paranoia, as well. Once I been up and about for just over 70 hours and that is _not_ healthy. Slept for 17 hours after that. Never going to that again, it was living hell.
    • by Xelios ( 822510 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:05PM (#26450957)
      I find the article itself is pretty indicative of a lot of these correlation based studies. The whole article talks about caffeine being linked to hallucinations, then at the very end, the researcher says something along the lines of "Oh, by the way, people who are more stressed for other reasons are likely to drink more coffee, and I guess that stress could be what's causing the hallucinations."

      Well super. So in the end, what exactly has this study proven that we didn't already know?

      Forgive the attitude, this stuff is just starting to grate my nerves. I think I need a cup of coffee.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox ( 846076 )

      "Triples your risk" - well, what are the risks WITHOUT coffee? I drink coffee all day long, yet I haven't had a hallucination since 1982

      The average human can and will hallucinate without the aid of chemical substance, lack of sleep, or stress. They are just more likely to under those conditions.

      What could be the case is that the human mind is not really comprehending 100% of the data input correctly. There are not enough neurons to process all of the light photons that enter your eye so your brain just make

  • by pwizard2 ( 920421 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:42PM (#26450391)
    I've had 4 cups this morning, and I feel fine. Maybe I have a high caffeine tolerance.
  • by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:42PM (#26450421)

    And I bought a jar of Caffeine off of for 10$.

    ACS/reagent grade, so great to use... I use mine with DMSO if I want the caf without bitterness. In my job, if I take a .5g hit, I feel it after about 10 minutes where I consistently get more lively and awake.

    Just watch for the downs after about 6 hours after first hit. You'll get hit with extreme tiredness and apathy... You wont be close enough to a bed.

    *I dont work for : Im just a happy purchaser.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:58PM (#26450779)

      ACS/reagent grade, so great to use... I use mine with DMSO if I want the caf without bitterness.

      Remember kids, just because it's legal, doesn't mean you're not a fucked-up addict. Seriously, absorbing caffeine through your skin?

  • Tags (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thyamine ( 531612 ) <> on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:44PM (#26450443) Homepage Journal
    I love the correlationisnotcausation tag. It gets applied to any story like this, and while it often seems to be accurate, I imagine someone would stick it on a story titled 'Study shows stabbing yourself may increase blood loss'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nloop ( 665733 )

      Thank you! I'm glad someone else saw that. I'm pretty sure an overdose of caffeine is causation for paranoia and hallucinations. I think a better argumentative tag would have been "obviousscience."

    • Re:Tags (Score:5, Informative)

      by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:03PM (#26450913)
      In this case, it's appropriate. The study authors suggest that there may be causation, but also state that all they have evidence of is correlation -- and that the causation may go the other direction. The /. summary fabricated the causation without regards to the linked article, let alone the study.
  • Correlation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:49PM (#26450591)

    Why must we tag EVERYTHING correlationisnotcausation. Does /. suddenly have a patent disregard for statistics in it entirety? Seriously, what is the alternative here? People about to have a hallucination have a sudden caffeine urge before their episode? Looking at the study from both sides is good. Ignoring statistics entirely is cowardly. I see too many people ignoring them because they are offensive (religion correlates with violent crime, homocide, stds, abortion). And i mean blanket ignoring, not trying to deduce anything from the stats. I never used to think of /.ers as the types to plug their ears and go lalalala. But this meme is childish.

    • Re:Correlation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MikeURL ( 890801 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:25PM (#26451397) Journal
      You're dead wrong. The 'popular press' is absolutely obsessed with reporting correlation studies as causation studies.

      If you do any research in any of the sciences you very quickly learn that it is extremely hard to prove causation. However, we have an entire drug segment (statins) dedicated to the notion that correlation must also equal causation. Personally I think it is almost impossible to remind people enough times that causation studies are very rare and they are almost always laboratory type studies where every variable is tightly controlled.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by evanbd ( 210358 )
      The researchers do not state there is causation; /. does. The researchers state "However, they also suggest that people who are more prone to hallucinations could also be more stressed and more likely to consume large amounts of caffeine." Another reasonable conclusion is that people who need sleep hallucinate more -- and that people drinking caffeine spend more time in a sleep-deprived state (making the caffeine a contributing factor rather than "the cause"). Yet another is that hallucinations correlate
  • Do the dew! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:53PM (#26450673)

    I enjoy a lovely Mountain Dew high every morning at work, and never suffer any ill effects... other than the giant spiders. Those can be a bit off putting. The glowing, telepathic ferrets usually keep them at bay, though. Hallucinations! Pfft! As if! Now excuse me. I must kiss teh sky.

  • "Energy" Drinks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:58PM (#26450783) Journal

    I've always been turned off from so called "Energy Drinks". I see too many people pound down these combinations of corn syrup and caffeine. The boost is very brief and all that sugar can't be good for the waistline or for insulin levels. The appeal seems to be mostly marketing. If you need lots of caffeine to function you'd be better off getting a decent night's sleep regularly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Muad'Dave ( 255648 )
      The ones I find sadly funny are the liquid Speedball-like [] Sparks [] and Tilt []. Nice mix there - lots of alcohol (a CNS depressant) and lots of stimulants. Heads explode in 5..4..3..2..1..Boom!
  • by harl ( 84412 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:59PM (#26450819)

    Great now I have to figure out which are my real friends and which ones I'm making up.

  • by crazycheetah ( 1416001 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:01PM (#26450877)

    First of all, I thought we knew this already? O.o

    Second, it's more fun if you have a pre-existing psychiatric condition. Personally, it has some nice effects on my PTSD. On the one end, it can help with the numbness and similar symptoms, because I get amped up and happy if I drink enough of it. On the other end, holy shit does the hypervigilance, irritability, and other such symptoms get worse with enough caffeine. Of course, that's really noticeable when you're drinking 3-4 16oz energy drinks every single day, like I used to before I started to realise the extent of my problem. Even down to only one cup of coffee every day, I still don't get any more sleep though, so whatever.

    Can't say I've experienced the hallucinations so much, though. But I can only imagine someone with schizophrenia or other disorders causing hallucinations (well, you could try to get away with saying PTSD has hallucinations as they are similar, but there's actually distinct differences between flashback type things of PTSD and hallucinations) drinking a lot of caffeine. Mix it with weed and it's even more fun! I could also say meth, cocaine, and some others, but that sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, and they can cause hallucinations themselves anyway; and no I'm not kidding--working in an emergency room, I've seen my fair share of heart attacks where the only reasonable explanation was meth/cocaine use.

    Nonetheless, I'd be more concerned about ulcers and other problems, like heart problems, that can come with heavy caffeine use. You can at least pass off a somewhat normal life, without ending up in the hospital for it, with the hallucinations, if you really try ;)

  • by StaticEngine ( 135635 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:10PM (#26451065) Homepage

    Back in college, when I was still super driven to be the best at everything, I used to down several cups of coffee and tea at night in order to remain awake and focused while doing my homework. It got to the point where after drinking the tea, I would suck on the teabag (keep your wiseass comments to yourself, thanks) because I'd read that saliva could extract even more caffiene.

    This all ended one night when I woke up at about 3AM (after staying up until 1 doing some Physics III homework) with what sounded like a couple of dozen people having a rally in my head. I couldn't make out individual voices, words, or sentences, but the sound was distinct: lots of people were talking over one another, LOUDLY, and there was no way to get away from it or make it quieter. It was, frankly, extremely frightening, even though it only took a minute to realize what was going on and why. I wound up lying on a couch in the common area with a pillow over my head for about an hour, wishing the noise would stop so I could actually get some sleep. Eventually, it quieted enough that I could crawl back into bed and catch another four or so hours before needing to get up for class.

    Anyway, caffiene: it's a drug, and now I limit myself to one cup in the AM and occasionally another in the afternoon, or a very small cup with dessert. Auditory hallucinations are no fun, and I found that I value the quality of a healthy life much more than the rewards of intense focused work these days.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @05:38PM (#26455973) Homepage

      No hallucinations that I remember, but it was not fun.

      My girlfriend at the time had a couple of caffeine pills, which for some reason I remembered from my youth as not having much of an effect on me. So I downed them both, then went home and proceeded to make and drink an entire pot of black coffee for my all-nighter.

      By 4am I was shaking like a junkie. I was having hot flashes and cold sweats, alternately. I felt so nauseated that I went to the bathroom repeatedly and stuck my finger down my throat, praying that something would come up. Nothing did but a little bit of brown sludge. My head was spinning. My teeth were clenching. My eyes were darting around. I felt confused, like I couldn't really concentrate on anything.

      Did I mention that I needed to be at the airport by 6am for a business trip?

      On the cab ride to the airport, I was hanging my head out the window like a dog. The cabbie kept shooting me dirty looks, like I was going to puke in his cab. Sorry pal; believe me, I wish I could. First thing I did at the airport was make a beeline for the men's room and get down on my knees again. I felt really bad for the poor guy in the stall next to me who had to listen to my retching as I dry-heaved. Still, it didn't help. In the mirror I looked like a wax manikin soaked in sweat.

      On the plane I started to feel better. "Oh thank god," I thought. "What I need now is water... maybe even a little orange juice." I had the flight attendant bring me a beverage. Mistake. Two sips in, and the barf bag was in my lap. Lucky for everyone on the flight, though -- I still couldn't puke.

      Anyway, this went on for the entire day. When I got back home from my trip at about 9pm, I went straight to bed, still shaking, still pale, still sweaty. And I lay there. Probably it was about four hours before I could get to sleep.

      The next day I told my girlfriend about my ordeal and she explained that she'd thought it was a little strange that I'd taken both of the caffeine pills at once. When she was driving cross-country from New Jersey, she said, she'd usually take half a pill with a little bit of water.

      So I learned my lesson -- but the upshot was that I'm not sure I was ever the same again. An ounce or two into a strong cup of Pete's coffee would almost throw me into a panic attack, because I could feel all the effects coming on again. One time, the coffee machine at the office was broken so that it wasn't sending the full amount of water through the grounds -- in other words, you ended up with a strong pot. I didn't realize this, and I ended up having to go home early.

      So, to the parent's point: Hell yeah it's a drug, and some people mess around with it too lightly.

  • by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:12PM (#26451105)

    I had given up caffeine for about 6 months, and then needed to pull an all-nighter at work. I went to the 7-11 and got a Double Gulp of Coca-Cola, and drank it all pretty quickly. Within about an hour, I started seeing "movement" out of the corner of my eye - just little flashes, but enough to startle me and make me turn and look. I also got paranoid; I was on a construction site (only one there) and even though my car was right outside my window, and a diesel to boot, I became convinced someone was trying to steal the car silently. I would check every 15 minutes to see if it was still there.

    These symptoms are also seen in recreational users of amphetamines, so I assumed (afterward) that it was an overdose of stimulants per se, not that it was caffeine.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:14PM (#26451169)
    The voices inside my head are telling me that this study is severely flawed, and I should just relax and have another cup of coffee...
  • So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Joe Snipe ( 224958 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:17PM (#26451221) Homepage Journal

    I can hallucinate using just a radio and a ping pong ball []

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:21PM (#26451305) Homepage Journal

    Some of the medical genetics studies I work on have measures for those, and having seen the questions and coded them, I can affirm that they're not quite as reliable as you may think.

    Besides, every time I drink more than three cups of coffee, I get this visual hallucination that I'm being asked to work to hard and this auditory hallucination that my boss has an unreasonable deadline ...

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:21PM (#26451313) Journal
    Obligatory Futurama [].
  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:29PM (#26451545)
    I used to find it very easy to induce auditory hallucinations with a combination of sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation; e.g. stay up for 36 hours then put in earplugs and try to sleep. Since caffeine is known to interfere with sleep, is it possible that these hallucinations are not caused directly by the caffeine, but rather by a lack of sleep brought on by caffeine consumption on previous days?
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:37PM (#26451719)

    ... why coffee makes this seem like a great place to work. The only problem is the one, terrifying side effect:

    The coffee wears off.

  • by ViennaSt ( 1138481 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:47PM (#26451945)

    This study CORRELATES high intake of caffeine to auditory/visual hallucinations--and ASSUMES caffeine came first. What if people who are already prone to having these hallucinations tend to consume more caffeine?

    Another correlation of this nature is that people with schizophrenia are ~75% likely to smoke and others with mental illness are prone to this trend as well. Source Here. []

    Also, this study was held at a university, and their test subjects are freshmen/sophomore level psych majors looking to get extra credit in their 300 level class. These students are already stressed about exams, relationships, money, and the fact they will probably have to work at Starbucks when they graduate because they got a Pysch degree--so to suggest that the sample is not bias in that way (and is indeed not anymore stressed than the regular adult population) is unscientific.

  • by TheMidnight ( 1055796 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:48PM (#26451955)

    I drank enough energy drinks/coffee this morning to be equivalent to several hundred millgrams of caffeine, and it's sharpened my focus and calmed me down, though I've gotten a bit jangled. I suspect I have ADHD though, so the reverse stimulant effect is not surprising.

  • 300 Cups (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:51PM (#26452005) Homepage

    3 cups might cause hallucinations, but 300 cups causes you to slow time down and save all of your friends from a raging fire. (Obligatory Futurama Reference)

  • So ... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tired and Emotional ( 750842 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:00PM (#26452173)
    If I ingest less caffeine, does this mean fewer people will be out to get me?
  • by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @02:40PM (#26452869)

    Alot more people than you think have "hallucinations" and don't know it, mostly because they don't know what a hallucination actually is.

    If we were going to believe Hollywood, visual hallucinations would be things like people who aren't there or ants or stuff from an acid trip. Auditory hallucinations would only be things like hearing voices.

    But visual could be things like seeing shadows moving in the corners of your eyes, or a flash of color or movement. Auditory could be hearing music in your mind for just a second.

    Wikipedia [] has a fairly decent overview of it.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments