During a new experiment researchers dosed the Beautiful alien-like creatures with MDMA, these scientists found that these complex animals share parts of Human-like response involved in social behaviors with humans.
A brand-new study suggests that human beings might have more in common with octopuses than it appears: they both respond to a minimum of one psychoactive drug in a similar, friendly method.
Scientists from Johns Hopkins University and the Marine Biological Lab on Cape Cod found that similar to human beings, notoriously known for its temper and often violent- octopuses act loving and social when they’re exposed to MDMA, otherwise called ecstasy or Molly. That finding, released in Current Biology, is more than just a fun discovery: It suggests that octopus and human brains are essentially comparable in some methods despite the species being 500 million years apart on the “tree of life”. This means scientists might look closely into using the marine animals to learn more about the human brain.
The drug is known as Ecstasy, or MDMA, produces hallucinations, feelings of emotional warmth and high levels of energy– frequently making the user feel proficient at the time. It has been prohibited in the United States, on the major concerns about its effects on memory, attention, and loss of the brain chemical serotonin. The growing body of research recommends that in smaller quantities ecstasy might have important medical properties- this isn’t a new hypothesis. Some research has suggested it might help deal with blood cancers such as Leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. And the exact same psychedelic properties that make euphoria so popular might make it useful in treating trauma, or PTSD.
According to NPR, Scientist has just discovered, after sequencing the complete genetic code of an octopus, the same “protein that binds the signaling molecule serotonin to brain cells” is practically similar in people and octopuses.
To evaluate that hypothesis, the research team positioned octopuses in an interconnected three-chamber tank meant to test sociability. The “social” chamber contained another octopus (sitting under an orchid pot full of holes, just in case battles broke out), while the “item” chamber included a figurine of the Star Wars character Chewbacca. Octopuses were placed in the center chamber and permitted to roam through the setup as they pleased for 30 minutes.
First, under a heavy dosage of the drug more than the normal human dose, the octopuses “flipped out” and would just “stare into nothing.” However, under a similar dosage to what a human would take, the animals started to become curious and friendly. Instead of avoiding their tankmates, the octopuses got close and started to touch each other in a manner that appeared like hugging.
Prior to they were dosed with MDMA, octopuses of both sexes had the tendency to invest more time in the social chamber if the other octopus was female, but more time in the item chamber if it was male. After investing 10 minutes in a low-dose MDMA bath, nevertheless, octopuses were far more likely to spend time with male octopuses next door, even connecting to “hug” the pot they sat under.
The outcomes recommend that MDMA does, certainly, spur many of the exact same pro-social behaviors in octopuses as it does in people, recommending that serotonin has been controlling social processes considering that humans and octopuses developed into unique types some 500 million years back.
It can’t be stated for certain if these acts were done through love as we understand it, however, the scientist involves thinking it does show that we may be more similar to seemingly alien animals than we think. Finding that some of our social functions that might appear uniquely human could’ve been encoded much further back than we realized.
By: Mckenzie Santa Maria