Common Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Octopuses have long been admired for their exceptional intelligence, incredible camouflage abilities, cleverly escaping from tanks, wily predator evasion tactics, and mischevious escapades in captivity.

In a recent study, neuroscientists exposed octopuses to MDMA (otherwise known as ecstasy) to understand how the creatures would respond to the psychoactive drug. 

According to Dr. Gül Dölen, the lead researcher of this study whose lab studies the neurological effects of MDMA, “the brains of octopuses are more similar to those of snails than humans.” But sequencing the entire genome of the California two-spot octopus revealed that humans and octopuses use similar proteins for binding serotonin, a chemical produced by nerve cells that transmits signals, to brain cells. In humans, serotonin is associated with influencing our emotions and is sensitive to MDMA.

“My lab has been studying MDMA for a long time,” says Dr. Dölen, “and we have worked out a lot of neural mechanisms that enable MDMA to have these really, really profound pro-social effects.” Other than when they mate, most octopuses tend to be antisocial and territorial; scientists generally house them in individual tanks to prevent them from killing one another. Given the uncanny similarities in brain chemistry that humans and octopuses share (despite sharing a common ancestor nearly 500 million years ago, when trilobites roamed the seas), the study’s authors were interested in seeing if the mood-altering drug changed octopus behavior.

To intoxicate the octopuses *, the researchers submerged the octopuses in seawater mixed with ecstasy, allowing the drug to be absorbed through the animals’ gills. Initially, the octopuses were isolated in their tanks and given high doses, which caused them to become extremely alert and change color frequently while hunkering down in the corners of their tanks.

However, when given lower doses and placed in tanks with other octopuses (isolated by a barrier), “they were essentially hugging,” says Dr. Dölen, “really just much more relaxed in posture, and using a lot more of their body to interact with the other octopus.”

Indeed, the typically standoffish creatures became social, even mimicking some of their mating behaviors and acting similarly to humans under the influence of ecstasy.

Says Dr. Dölen, “what our study suggests is that certain brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that send signals between neurons required for these social behaviors are evolutionarily conserved.”

* There has been some discussion about whether drugging octopuses in this way is ethical and whether this preliminary study indicates that animals (distantly) related to people should be used to test the impacts of psychoactive drugs.

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Typical Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

Octopuses have actually long been appreciated for their remarkable intelligence, amazing camouflage capabilities, skillfully getting away from tanks,(******************* )cunning predator evasion techniques, and(********************* )mischevious experiences in captivity.

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) In a current research study, neuroscientists exposed octopuses to MDMA( otherwise referred to as euphoria) to comprehend how the animals would react to the psychedelic drug.

Inning Accordance With Dr. Gül Dölen, the lead scientist of this research study whose laboratory research studies the neurological impacts of MDMA, “t he brains of octopuses are more much like those of snails than human beings.” However sequencing the whole genome of the California two-spot octopus exposed that human beings and octopuses utilize comparable proteins for binding serotonin, a chemical produced by afferent neuron that transfers signals, to brain cells. In human beings, serotonin is related to affecting our feelings and is delicate to MDMA.

(************************ )” My laboratory has actually been studying MDMA for a very long time,” states Dr. Dölen,” and we have actually exercised a great deal of neural systems that allow MDMA to have these truly, truly extensive pro-social impacts.” Aside from when they mate, a lot of octopuses have the tendency to be antisocial and territorial; researchers typically house them in specific tanks to avoid them from eliminating one another. Offered the astonishing resemblances in brain chemistry that human beings and octopuses share (regardless of sharing a typical forefather almost 500 million years back, when trilobites wandered the seas), the research study’s authors had an interest in seeing if the mood-altering drug altered octopus habits.

To inebriated the octopuses (**************** )*, the scientists immersed the octopuses in seawater combined with euphoria, permitting the drug to be soaked up through the animals’ gills. At first, the octopuses were separated in their tanks and offered high dosages, which triggered them to end up being exceptionally alert and modification color often while hunching down in the corners of their tanks.

Nevertheless, when offered lower dosages and positioned in tanks with other octopuses( separated by a barrier), ” they were basically hugging,” states Dr. Dölen, “truly simply far more unwinded in posture, and utilizing a lot more of their body to communicate with the other octopus.”

Certainly, the usually standoffish animals ended up being social, even simulating a few of their breeding habits and acting likewise to human beings under the impact of euphoria.

States Dr. Dölen, “exactly what our research study recommends is that specific brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that send out signals in between nerve cells needed for these social habits are evolutionarily saved.”

* There has actually been some conversation about whether drugging octopuses in this method is ethical and whether this initial research study shows that animals (distantly) associated to individuals must be utilized to check the effects of psychedelic drugs.

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Typical Octopus, Octopus vulgaris, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

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Octopuses have actually long been appreciated for their remarkable intelligence , amazing camouflage capabilities, skillfully getting away from tanks , cunning predator evasion techniques, and mischevious experiences in captivity.

In a current research study , neuroscientists exposed octopuses to MDMA (otherwise referred to as euphoria) to comprehend how the animals would react to the psychedelic drug.

Inning Accordance With Dr. Gül Dölen , the lead scientist of this research study whose laboratory research studies the neurological impacts of MDMA, “t he brains of octopuses are more much like those of snails than human beings. ” However sequencing the whole genome of the California two-spot octopus exposed that human beings and octopuses utilize comparable proteins for binding serotonin , a chemical produced by afferent neuron that transfers signals, to brain cells. In human beings, serotonin is related to affecting our feelings and is delicate to MDMA.

“My laboratory has actually been studying MDMA for a very long time,” states Dr. Dölen , “and we have actually exercised a great deal of neural systems that allow MDMA to have these truly, truly extensive pro-social impacts.” Aside from when they mate, a lot of octopuses have the tendency to be antisocial and territorial; researchers typically house them in specific tanks to avoid them from eliminating one another. Offered the astonishing resemblances in brain chemistry that human beings and octopuses share (regardless of sharing a typical forefather almost 500 million years back, when trilobites wandered the seas), the research study’s authors had an interest in seeing if the mood-altering drug altered octopus habits.

To inebriated the octopuses *, the scientists immersed the octopuses in seawater combined with euphoria, permitting the drug to be soaked up through the animals’ gills. At first, the octopuses were separated in their tanks and offered high dosages, which triggered them to end up being exceptionally alert and modification color often while hunching down in the corners of their tanks.

Nevertheless, when offered lower dosages and positioned in tanks with other octopuses (separated by a barrier), “they were basically hugging,” states Dr. Dölen , “truly simply far more unwinded in posture, and utilizing a lot more of their body to communicate with the other octopus.”

Certainly, the usually standoffish animals ended up being social, even simulating a few of their breeding habits and acting likewise to human beings under the impact of euphoria.

States Dr. Dölen, “exactly what our research study recommends is that specific brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that send out signals in between nerve cells needed for these social habits are evolutionarily saved.”

* There has actually been some conversation about whether drugging octopuses in this method is ethical and whether this initial research study shows that animals (distantly) associated to individuals must be utilized to check the effects of psychedelic drugs.

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