Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder

Julie D. Golomb, Jenika R.B. McDavitt, Barbara M. Ruf, Jason Chen, Aybala Saricicek, Kathleen H. Maloney, Jian Hu, Marvin M. Chun, Zubin Bhagwagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that is not traditionally considered to affect the visual system. However, recent findings have reported decreased cortical levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in occipital cortex. To explore possible functional consequences of MDD on visual processing, we applied a psychophysical visual motion processing task in which healthy young adults typically exhibit impaired perceptual discrimination of large high-contrast stimuli. It has been suggested that this phenomenon, spatial suppression, is mediated by GABAergic center-surround antagonism in visual pathways. Based on previous findings linking MDD to occipital GABA dysfunction, we hypothesized that MDD patients would exhibit decreased spatial suppression, leading to the counterintuitive hypothesis of better psychophysical performance. Indeed, motion perception for typically suppressed stimuli was enhanced in patients with MDD compared with age-matched controls. Furthermore, the degree of spatial suppression correlated with an individual's illness load; patients with greater lifetime duration of depression exhibited the least spatial suppression and performed the best in the high-contrast motion discrimination task. Notably, this decrease in spatial suppression persisted beyond recovery and without the confound of acute illness or treatment; all patients had been clinically recovered and unmedicated for several months at the time of testing, suggesting that depression has ubiquitous consequences that may persist long after mood symptoms have receded. This finding raises the possibility that spatial suppression may represent a sensitive endophenotypic marker of trait vulnerability in MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9072-9077
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number28
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Motion Perception
Visual Perception
Major Depressive Disorder
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Depression
Occipital Lobe
Visual Pathways
Mood Disorders
Neurotransmitter Agents
Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Golomb, J. D., McDavitt, J. R. B., Ruf, B. M., Chen, J., Saricicek, A., Maloney, K. H., ... Bhagwagar, Z. (2009). Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(28), 9072-9077. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1003-09.2009

Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder. / Golomb, Julie D.; McDavitt, Jenika R.B.; Ruf, Barbara M.; Chen, Jason; Saricicek, Aybala; Maloney, Kathleen H.; Hu, Jian; Chun, Marvin M.; Bhagwagar, Zubin.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 29, No. 28, 15.07.2009, p. 9072-9077.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Golomb, JD, McDavitt, JRB, Ruf, BM, Chen, J, Saricicek, A, Maloney, KH, Hu, J, Chun, MM & Bhagwagar, Z 2009, 'Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 29, no. 28, pp. 9072-9077. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1003-09.2009
Golomb JD, McDavitt JRB, Ruf BM, Chen J, Saricicek A, Maloney KH et al. Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder. Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 Jul 15;29(28):9072-9077. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1003-09.2009
Golomb, Julie D. ; McDavitt, Jenika R.B. ; Ruf, Barbara M. ; Chen, Jason ; Saricicek, Aybala ; Maloney, Kathleen H. ; Hu, Jian ; Chun, Marvin M. ; Bhagwagar, Zubin. / Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 ; Vol. 29, No. 28. pp. 9072-9077.
@article{b5832dae96684ad0b50ba9d054d838f7,
title = "Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder",
abstract = "Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that is not traditionally considered to affect the visual system. However, recent findings have reported decreased cortical levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in occipital cortex. To explore possible functional consequences of MDD on visual processing, we applied a psychophysical visual motion processing task in which healthy young adults typically exhibit impaired perceptual discrimination of large high-contrast stimuli. It has been suggested that this phenomenon, spatial suppression, is mediated by GABAergic center-surround antagonism in visual pathways. Based on previous findings linking MDD to occipital GABA dysfunction, we hypothesized that MDD patients would exhibit decreased spatial suppression, leading to the counterintuitive hypothesis of better psychophysical performance. Indeed, motion perception for typically suppressed stimuli was enhanced in patients with MDD compared with age-matched controls. Furthermore, the degree of spatial suppression correlated with an individual's illness load; patients with greater lifetime duration of depression exhibited the least spatial suppression and performed the best in the high-contrast motion discrimination task. Notably, this decrease in spatial suppression persisted beyond recovery and without the confound of acute illness or treatment; all patients had been clinically recovered and unmedicated for several months at the time of testing, suggesting that depression has ubiquitous consequences that may persist long after mood symptoms have receded. This finding raises the possibility that spatial suppression may represent a sensitive endophenotypic marker of trait vulnerability in MDD.",
author = "Golomb, {Julie D.} and McDavitt, {Jenika R.B.} and Ruf, {Barbara M.} and Jason Chen and Aybala Saricicek and Maloney, {Kathleen H.} and Jian Hu and Chun, {Marvin M.} and Zubin Bhagwagar",
year = "2009",
month = "7",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1003-09.2009",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "29",
pages = "9072--9077",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "28",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Enhanced visual motion perception in major depressive disorder

AU - Golomb, Julie D.

AU - McDavitt, Jenika R.B.

AU - Ruf, Barbara M.

AU - Chen, Jason

AU - Saricicek, Aybala

AU - Maloney, Kathleen H.

AU - Hu, Jian

AU - Chun, Marvin M.

AU - Bhagwagar, Zubin

PY - 2009/7/15

Y1 - 2009/7/15

N2 - Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that is not traditionally considered to affect the visual system. However, recent findings have reported decreased cortical levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in occipital cortex. To explore possible functional consequences of MDD on visual processing, we applied a psychophysical visual motion processing task in which healthy young adults typically exhibit impaired perceptual discrimination of large high-contrast stimuli. It has been suggested that this phenomenon, spatial suppression, is mediated by GABAergic center-surround antagonism in visual pathways. Based on previous findings linking MDD to occipital GABA dysfunction, we hypothesized that MDD patients would exhibit decreased spatial suppression, leading to the counterintuitive hypothesis of better psychophysical performance. Indeed, motion perception for typically suppressed stimuli was enhanced in patients with MDD compared with age-matched controls. Furthermore, the degree of spatial suppression correlated with an individual's illness load; patients with greater lifetime duration of depression exhibited the least spatial suppression and performed the best in the high-contrast motion discrimination task. Notably, this decrease in spatial suppression persisted beyond recovery and without the confound of acute illness or treatment; all patients had been clinically recovered and unmedicated for several months at the time of testing, suggesting that depression has ubiquitous consequences that may persist long after mood symptoms have receded. This finding raises the possibility that spatial suppression may represent a sensitive endophenotypic marker of trait vulnerability in MDD.

AB - Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that is not traditionally considered to affect the visual system. However, recent findings have reported decreased cortical levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in occipital cortex. To explore possible functional consequences of MDD on visual processing, we applied a psychophysical visual motion processing task in which healthy young adults typically exhibit impaired perceptual discrimination of large high-contrast stimuli. It has been suggested that this phenomenon, spatial suppression, is mediated by GABAergic center-surround antagonism in visual pathways. Based on previous findings linking MDD to occipital GABA dysfunction, we hypothesized that MDD patients would exhibit decreased spatial suppression, leading to the counterintuitive hypothesis of better psychophysical performance. Indeed, motion perception for typically suppressed stimuli was enhanced in patients with MDD compared with age-matched controls. Furthermore, the degree of spatial suppression correlated with an individual's illness load; patients with greater lifetime duration of depression exhibited the least spatial suppression and performed the best in the high-contrast motion discrimination task. Notably, this decrease in spatial suppression persisted beyond recovery and without the confound of acute illness or treatment; all patients had been clinically recovered and unmedicated for several months at the time of testing, suggesting that depression has ubiquitous consequences that may persist long after mood symptoms have receded. This finding raises the possibility that spatial suppression may represent a sensitive endophenotypic marker of trait vulnerability in MDD.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=67650732980&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=67650732980&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1003-09.2009

DO - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1003-09.2009

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 9072

EP - 9077

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 28

ER -