Octopusses on XTC
Jordan Peterson hat vielleicht depressive Hummer am Start, aber die sind ein Scheiß gegen soziale Octopusse auf XTC: MDMA Makes Octopuses Want to Mingle, Too.
Like most octopuses, this color-changing cephalopod is asocial, meaning it likes to be alone most of the time, unless it’s trying to mate.
But when given MDMA, a drug well known for boosting emotional empathy and prosocial behavior in humans (i.e. making you really, really want to fraternize), these octopuses also seemed to want to hang out with each other, even if they weren’t trying to find a mate.
This is interesting not only because these octopuses don’t normally behave this way, but also because the last common ancestor we shared was probably some wormlike thing between 500 and 750 million years ago. We’re pretty different from octopuses — in fact, by some estimates, these eight-legged freaks are the closest thing on Earth to an alien species. So it’s fairly intriguing to see that a drug works on them the same way it does on us.
According to the authors, these findings might tell us a lot about how “ancient neurotransmitter systems are shared across vertebrate and invertebrate species.”