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People with elevated depression have a difficult time hearing all types of emotional speech when compared to people with low symptoms of depression, reports an article in Science Daily. When a person has a difficult time understanding another person’s speech the problem can be attributed to either energetic masking, in which background noise such as passing airplanes or construction sites interfere with speech perception, or information masking, in which background conversation or other linguistic sources interfere with speech perception. Researchers have found that both people with elevated depression and people with low depression perform similarly in energetic masking conditions, but people with elevated depression performed significantly worse in information masking conditions. These findings highlight why social gatherings, such as cocktail parties, may be particularly difficult for depressed individuals. To read this article in its entirety, click here.