A recent study revealed that marijuana seeps deep into the brain’s prefrontal cortex, distorting basic reasoning. So just how impaired is your average toker? With the help of Venkat Lakshminarayanan, a friendly researcher at a primate psych lab, Radar conducted tests on two stoned adults (Miriam and Bob) and two sober children (Devon and Dom). Here’s how our potheads fared compared to the kids—as well as monkeys, toddlers, and mentally ill patients who’ve taken similar tests.
A reward is placed inside a transparent cube with one side missing. Subjects have five seconds to retrieve the reward before the cube is rearranged. Test is repeated six times.
DEVON, 6: 5 out of 6 (“Was it supposed to be hard?”)
DOM, ALMOST 6: 6 out of 6 (“My rabbit could do this. And it’s a dumb rabbit.”)
MIRIAM, 25: 5 out of 6
(“This made me feel insecure.”)
BOB, 23: 3 out of 6 (“Are you guys facing the box upside down?”)
CONCLUSION: The -stoners were stupider than the six-year-olds. Bob scored lower than
a rhesus monkey and
is stupider than toddlers who have taken the exam.
Subject is given a dollar and told that if he waits until the researcher returns, he can trade it for five dollars. Researcher leaves for 10 minutes or until -subject calls him back.
DEVON: Called after six minutes (“I wanted to see you run back.”)
DOM: Called after 10 minutes (Subject’s mother notes, “He once kept his lemonade stand open eight hours to make five dollars.”)
MIRIAM: Waited three minutes under the impression that it had been at least 10 (“I zoned out for a bit and had some thoughts.”)
BOB: Waited zero minutes (“I don’t want to do this. You’re not going to come back. Screw it, I’m taking the dollar.”)
CONCLUSION: The -stoners were stupider than the six-year-olds. Miriam’s score suggests she’s dumber than a tamarin or a marmoset; research shows stoner Bob is stupider than a head injury victim.
Subject watches actor use a banana as a phone. Can subject grasp concept of
DEVON: Passed (“I knew immediately he was pretending. It was stupid.”)
DOM: Passed (“He was pretending. I didn’t think he looked funny.”)
MIRIAM: Passed (“Was he pretending he was on the phone? I got a little distracted. Do it again.”)
BOB: Failed (“He was talking on the phone. He was having a perfectly quotidian conversation. Nothing seemed weird.”)
CONCLUSION: The -stoners were stupider than the six-year-olds. Bob is stupider than a 24-month-old.
Two images of a plaster mask are shown to
the subject. The subject is asked which image shows the mask facing forward, and which shows the mask from behind. Six sets of two are shown.
DEVON: 5 out of 6 (“I feel like I’m the smartest person in the room.”)
DOM: 6 out of 6 (Was able to identify the convex images by looking specifically at eyes and cheeks of image.)
MIRIAM: 3 out of 6
(“Oh my, that’s weird. I don’t want to look at them anymore. This is scaring me.”)
BOB: 2 out of 6 (“All of these masks look real to me.”)
CONCLUSION: The -stoners were stupider than
the six-year-olds. Miriam scored lower than a schizophrenic; Bob fared worse than Miriam.