In fact the study goes back to late 40’s when Peter Witt, a German-Swiss zoologist working with spiders, became annoyed by the fact that his animal model build its web between 2am and 5am. He asked a friend for help: decided to use drugs to influence animal’s behavior expecting the spider to build its web in a more appropriate hour.
Witt’s intentions did not succeed but he observed that web geometry of the drugged spiders changed. After that he went on trying different drugs, changed some physical quantities like temperature and light exposure conditions and observed the effect on spider web construction (for a review).
The behavior induced by these drugs resulted in different patterns of web geometry. The webs built tended to be specific according to the drug taken. In some cases the web kept its size but were also observed radius irregularities or spiral spacing changes, in other cases the web became irregular and the spiral-like pattern was lost. Other reported effects were changes on thread thickness, web-building frequency and size of catching area.