Feeds

iPod users in musical hallucination threat

More music, more madness, says brain boffin

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The increasing use of iPods and greater exposure to music generally may lead to an increase in "musical hallucinations", a psychiatrist has claimed. These are not, explains Victor Aziz of Cardiff's Whitchurch Hospital in today's Guardian, simply a case of getting Crazy Frog stuck in your unwilling brain, but the full-blown equivalent of visual hallucinations.

As Adrian Rees, an expert in auditory neurology at Newcastle University, elaborates: "It's not like having a tune going around in your head. This is something you can't turn off or change to another record."

Aziz expands with a chilling example: "People will all of a sudden start hearing a song, such as Yes, We Have No Bananas," although he adds that musical hallucinations are uncommon and often associated to psychiatric conditions, brain tumours or epilepsy.

Aziz's research probed the experiences of 65 to 90-year olds. Boffins had previously thought that musical hallucinations were more prevalent among those who had given their ears a bashing during their youth, but Aziz reckons that a lot of his guinea pigs were hearing more recent material.

The upshot of all this is, according to Aziz, that the more music we're exposed to, the more likely we are to suffer musical hallucinations. He warns: "We are now exposed to a barrage of music and it seems that we might well see more cases of this in the future. We'll only know if we test people in 20 years' time."

One last thing: if you do find yourself suffering from a sudden and full-blown attack of Yes, We Have No Bananas, then your iPod might actually prove your salvation. Sheffield University psychiatrist, Peter Woodruff, says: "What they [hallucination sufferers] find is that by playing real music, it competes with the hallucination and suppresses it."

So there you have it. Detach youself from that iPod or pay the price. Or, if you've already effectively overdosed on garage/dance/trance, keep it close to hand for when the banana song comes back to haunt you. ®

Related stories

Poor diet + pollution = brain damage
University bans iPod adverts
iPod users deprived of muff

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.