It’s quite a party

Via GrrlScientist, here’s a fun little demo of what drugs do to your brain. Drag the stoned mice to the special chair, and you get to peek in at what marijuana and ecstasy and cocaine and etc. do to the synapses.


  1. saltatory says

    admittedly simplistic, but it’s all correct.

    p.s. anandamide is derived from the sanskrit word for “bliss”.

    I guess this is also the first post I’ve ever commented on here. I’d like to see some more neuropharm posts PZ :)

  2. says

    Meh, I already commented on GrrlScientist’s post about the insidious WarOnDrugz overtones and lack of a nicotine mouse and lack of rigor as regards completeness. One thing I didn’t mention, that struck me, is about the “ecstasy” mouse: it looks like they’re describing MDMA, but they don’t tell the whole story! It’s not just that it makes you dump all your serotonin; there’s also the period of recovery when “coming down” off the drug, during which the user is serotonin-depleted and thus likely to experience symptoms of a distinctly un-fun depression.

    Come to think of it, the aftereffects of each drug would have been good to see, since they are so instrumental in the drug’s potential for abuse.

  3. August Pamplona says

    As I’ve already commented at GrrlScientist, I believe that the contention that dopamine plays a major role in the mode of action of THC is probably incorrect. In fact, going to the parent page (see ), the author’s bias seems to be that all “drugs of abuse” work by increasing the action of dopamine in some way. This might make for good “drug war” propaganda but it probably does not make for good science (I suppose this content should not come as a surprise given the NIDA funding involved).

  4. jamie says

    at a real mouse party, the cocaine mouse would be inhaling nicotine (oddly absent from the simulation, as one of Hedwig’s commenters noted) faster than you can drag him to the analyzer, the meth mouse would be in the bedroom watching nudie movies, and i don’t the the ecstasy mouse would be in the corner all by itself.

  5. DominEditrix says

    The mouse running the program was evidently chemically enhanced, as well, as it hung in the middle of the marijuana mouse and just sat there, for, like, man, forever.

    Then the mouse went off and raided my fridge.

  6. says

    the LSD mouse kept trying to tell the other mice that they were all just trapped in a machine, man, where strange oversized creatures watched them on bright screens driven by tiny elements that were both crystalline and liquid, like, at the same time.

    Then the meth mouse beat the snot out of him and he shut up.