Home Health News Octopuses on ecstasy just want a cuddle : Research Highlights

Octopuses on ecstasy just want a cuddle : Research Highlights

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Molluscs’ response to fashionable celebration drug echoes people’ response.

Like people, octopuses turn out to be extra sociable and engaged after a dose of the celebration drug MDMA.

In the human mind, MDMA, generally often called ecstasy, triggers the discharge of the neurotransmitter serotonin, inflicting emotions of happiness and closeness to others. The California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) has a serotonin transport system just like that of people. To decide whether or not this method serves the identical perform in octopuses and people, Eric Edsinger on the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Gül Dölen at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, submerged 5 octopuses in MDMA-laced water and examined their behaviour round others of their sort.

After absorbing the drug, the animals ignored toys, equivalent to Star Wars collectible figurines, that may usually have intrigued them. Instead, the octopuses socialized and spent extra time touching each other with their arms than these creatures often do.

The findings recommend that serotonin performed an vital half in social behaviour within the frequent ancestor of octopuses and vertebrates, whose branches on the household tree separated greater than 500 million years in the past.

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