Commentary: A Conserved Role for Serotonergic Neurotransmission in Mediating Social Behavior in Octopus.
Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience
MetadataShow full item record
Amodio, P., Fiorito, G., Clayton, N., & Ostojić, L. (2019). Commentary: A Conserved Role for Serotonergic Neurotransmission in Mediating Social Behavior in Octopus.. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 13 185. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00185
In a recent study with potential wide-reaching influence, Edsinger and Dolen (2018) tested, for the first time, the effect of 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in the cephalopod mollusk Octopus bimaculoides. In their main experiment (Experiment 2), the authors placed octopuses in the central compartment of a three-chambered arena and allowed them to freely explore the lateral chambers, one containing an object and the other containing a social stimulus (a familiar male conspecific), both isolated through a perforated plastic container. All subjects first received a pre-trial to establish a baseline for the social response toward the conspecific, and following the administration of MDMA, they were given a post-trial with the same individual. According to the authors, the results demonstrate that MDMA induces both quantitative (i.e. longer intervals spent in the social stimulus chamber) and qualitative (i.e. different behaviors) acute prosocial responses in octopus. Here we highlight fundamental flaws in the study, thus challenging the authors’ conclusions.
PA received support from the Cambridge Philosophical Society (Research Studentship Ref. 123 S52/002/19). NSC received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement No. 3399933, awarded to NSC.
European Research Council (339993)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00185
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/296122
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/