A new study has concluded that depressed individuals view the world differently.
According to the reserach, depressed people find it easy to interpret large images or scenes, but when it comes to "spot the difference" in fine detail, they struggle, reports New Scientist.
It has been found that people with the condition have a shortage of a neurotransmitter called GABA. GABA has also been linked to a visual skill called spatial suppression, which helps humans suppress details surrounding the object their eyes are focused on.
Now, Yale University researchers are trying to link this ability with major depressive disorder (MDD).
To reach the conclusion, Julie Golomb asked 32 people to watch a brief computer animation of white bars drifting over a grey and black background, and say which way they were moving.
Fifty percent of the group had good mental health, while the rest had recently recovered from depression.
During the analyses, when the image was large, the recovered volunteers found the task easier, which means they would do better in the forest scenario. But they performed less well than the other group when looking at a small image.
"Their ability to discriminate fine details was impaired, which is the sort of perception that we tend to use on a daily basis," said Golomb.
The study has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
"Depression is often thought of as just a mood disorder," she says, "but it can impact upon eating and sleeping habits, and now we know it can even affect the way a person sees the world."