Mesopic Visual Contrast Sensitivity in Patients with Major Depression

DOI: 10.4236/ojd.2013.24014   PDF   HTML     3,660 Downloads   5,949 Views   Citations


The present study evaluated the effects of major depression on visual contrast sensitivity (CS) at low mesopic luminance (.7 cd/m2 mean luminance), a condition that has been little explored in the literature. We measured spatial visual CS in 20 male volunteers aged 20 - 30 years, including 10 healthy individuals and 10 medicated individuals with major depression, to linear sine-wave gratings of .25, 1.0, and 4.0 cycles per degree (cpd) of visual angle using the psychophysical staircase method with forced choice. The average spatial visual CS in the depressed group was approximately 1.7 lower than the average spatial visual CS in the control group. However, the post hoc test showed significant differences only at the spatial frequencies of .25 and 1.0 cpd (p < .05), which are likely processed by the magnocellular visual pathway. These results suggest that spatial visual CS to sine-wave gratings should be used to evaluate the responsiveness of the visual system in patients with major depression under conditions of low luminance.

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Nogueira, R. , Espínola, E. , Lacerda, A. & Santos, N. (2013). Mesopic Visual Contrast Sensitivity in Patients with Major Depression. Open Journal of Depression, 2, 82-86. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2013.24014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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