Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why does everything look gray when you feel blue?

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Regardless of culture, language, era, or individual artist, the arts consistently depict depression using darkness. Scientific findings now lend empirical support to this representation of depression that everything looks gray when you feel blue. Researchers had previously shown that people with depression have difficulty detecting black-and-white contrast differences.

Regardless of culture, language, era, or individual artist, the arts consistently depict depression using darkness. Scientific findings now lend empirical support to this representation of depression that everything looks gray when you feel blue.

Related Articles


Researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany showed previously that people with depression have difficulty detecting black-and-white contrast differences.

Publishing a new report in Biological Psychiatry, these scientists combined neuropsychiatric and ophthalmologic investigations to focus on the response of the retina to varying black-and-white contrasts. Specifically, they measured the pattern electroretinogram, which is like an electrocardiogram (ECG) of the retina of the eye, in patients with depression and healthy individuals.

They found dramatically lower retinal contrast gain in the depressed patients, regardless of whether or not they were receiving antidepressant medication. There was also a significant correlation between contrast gain and severity of depression, meaning those with the most severe symptoms of depression also had the lowest retinal responses. The electrophysiological signal of response was sufficiently consistent to distinguish most depressed patients from the healthy subjects.

"These data highlight the profound ways that depression alters one's experience of the world," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "The poet William Cowper said that 'variety's the very spice of life', yet when people are depressed, they are less able to perceive contrasts in the visual world. This loss would seem to make the world a less pleasurable place."

Lead author Dr. Ludger Tebartz van Elst noted that although these findings are strong, they still need to be replicated in further studies. However, "this method could turn out to be a valuable tool to objectively measure the subjective state of depression, having far-reaching implications for research as well as clinical diagnosis of and therapy for depression."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bubl et al. Seeing Gray When Feeling Blue? Depression Can Be Measured in the Eye of the Diseased. Biological Psychiatry, 2010; 68 (2): 205 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.02.009

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Why does everything look gray when you feel blue?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720083258.htm>.
Elsevier. (2010, July 21). Why does everything look gray when you feel blue?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720083258.htm
Elsevier. "Why does everything look gray when you feel blue?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100720083258.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins