In language and arts depression is associated with darkness and grey and black colours. Everything looks grey when people feel blue.
There might be an empirical truth behind these idioms according to the findings of a research group at the University Hospital Freiburg in Germany, who combined neuropsychiatric and ophthalmologic investigations.
In earlier work they were able to demonstrate that depressed people do have difficulties with detecting black-and-white contrast differences.
In another study published in 2010 they focused on the response of the retina in depressed and healthy humans to varying black-and-white contrasts. Measuring the pattern of an electroretinogram, which is a kind of electrocardiogram (ECG) of the eye, they found dramatic reductions in response amplitudes of the eyes of depressed patients.
The signal was so strong that it was able to distinguish most depressed patients on a single case basis from healthy control subjects when looking at the electrophysiological measurement.
In the latest study just published in the renowned British Journal of Psychiatry (http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/201/2/151.full) they now report that the abnormal retinal signal normalised following remission of depression. Therefore the objectively measurable retinal contrast gain might prove to be an objective state marker of depression.
Should these findings be replicated in further studies, this method could turn out to be a valuable tool to objectively measure the subjective state of depression. This could have far reaching implications for research as well as clinical diagnosis and therapy of depression.Kontakt:
Doreen Winkler | idw
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences