Science Daily - Having a lower social standing increases the likelihood that a monkey faced with a stressful situation will choose cocaine over food, according to a study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. More dominant monkeys undergoing the same stressful situation had fewer changes in brain activity in areas of the brain involved in stress and anxiety and were less likely to choose cocaine.
Male cynomolgus monkeys live in a complex social structure in which the social hierarchy is established by physical aggression and maintained by clear signals. A monkey that has established his dominance over another monkey can elicit a subordinate response with no more than a meaningful look.
The researchers exposed four dominant and four subordinate monkeys to a socially stressful situation in which an individual monkey was taken out of his home cage and placed in an unfamiliar cage surrounded by four unfamiliar animals. The monkey was physically safe, but he could see and hear the animals around him engaging in aggressive behavior.
In a separate part of the study, researchers looked at the effect of the stressful situation on the likelihood that monkeys would use cocaine. After the 40 minutes in the unfamiliar cage surrounded by other monkeys, each monkey could choose between pressing a lever that they knew delivered cocaine or one that they knew delivered a food reward. The subordinate monkey was more likely to choose cocaine while the dominant monkey was less likely to choose cocaine after this encounter, compared to their respective typical choices during the days preceding this encounter.
Animals, they're just like us!
This study went on to display how these poor little monkeys would horde their own stashes, and try to steal from their fellow monkeys like little dirtbags.
Here's a video showcasing some grade A wasteful government spending when The National Institute on Drug Abuse spent $398,873 on a study that teaches monkeys how to smoke and drink hard drugs like heroin, meth, PCP, and cocaine - then studied how the monkeys' drug consumption varies during different phases of their menstrual cycles. Good stuff.
Age restricted sadly, but worth verifying and watching.
If you don't feel like it you can watch why monkeys dumber cousins enjoy getting high so much.
Keep suggestions coming. Keep it classy. No butt stuff.