P Leite

New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (20)105.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Event-related potentials (31-channel ERPs) were recorded from 38 depressed, unmedicated outpatients and 26 healthy adults (all right-handed) in tonal and phonetic oddball tasks developed to exploit the perceptual challenge of a dichotic stimulation. Tonal nontargets were pairs of complex tones (corresponding to musical notes G and B above middle C) presented simultaneously to each ear (L/R) in an alternating series (G/B or B/G; 2-s fixed SOA). A target tone (note A) replaced one of the pair on 20% of the trials (A/B, G/A, B/A, A/G). Phonetic nontargets were L/R pairs of syllables (/ba/, /da/) with a short voice onset time (VOT), and targets contained a syllable (/ta/) with a long VOT. Subjects responded with a left or right button press to targets (counterbalanced across blocks). Target detection was poorer in patients than controls and for tones than syllables. Reference-free current source densities (CSDs; spherical spline Laplacian) derived from ERP waveforms were simplified and measured using temporal, covariance-based PCA followed by unrestricted Varimax rotation. Target-related N2 sinks and mid-parietal P3 sources were represented by CSD factors peaking at 245 and 440 ms. The P3 source topography included a secondary, left-lateralized temporal lobe maximum for both targets and nontargets. However, a subsequent hemispheric spatiotemporal PCA disentangled temporal lobe N1 and P3 sources as distinct factors. P3 sources were reduced in patients compared with controls, even after using performance as a covariate. Results are consistent with prior reports of P3 reduction in depression and implicate distinct parietal and temporal generators of P3 when using a dichotic oddball paradigm.
    International Journal of Psychophysiology 02/2008; 67(1):1-16. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anxiety symptoms might be a vulnerability factor for the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). Because elevated startle magnitude in threatening contexts is a marker for anxiety disorder, the present study investigated the hypothesis that enhanced startle reactivity would also be found in children and grandchildren of individuals with MDD. The magnitude of startle was investigated in two tests (anticipation of an unpleasant blast of air and during darkness) in children (second generation) and grandchildren (third generation) of probands with (high risk) or without (low risk) MDD (first generation). Startle discriminated between the low- and high-risk groups. In the probands' children, the high-risk group showed increased startle magnitude throughout the fear-potentiated startle test. In the probands' grandchildren, a gender-specific abnormality was found in the high-risk group with high-risk girls, but not boys, exhibiting elevated startle magnitude throughout the procedure. Increased startle reactivity in threatening contexts, previously found in patients with anxiety disorder and in children of parents with an anxiety disorder, might also constitute a vulnerability marker for MDD. These findings suggest that there might be common biologic diatheses underlying depression and anxiety.
    Biological Psychiatry 06/2005; 57(9):953-60. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electroencephalographic (EEG) studies have found abnormal regional hemispheric asymmetries in depressive disorders, which have been hypothesized to be vulnerability markers for depression. In a longitudinal high-risk study, resting EEG was measured in primarily adult offspring of depressed or nondepressed probands. Electroencephalograms from12 homologous sites over each hemisphere (digitally linked-ears reference) were analyzed in right-handed offspring for whom both parents (n = 18), one parent (n = 40), or neither parent (n = 29) had a major depressive disorder (MDD). Offspring with both parents having MDD showed greater alpha asymmetry at medial sites, with relatively less activity (more alpha) over right central and parietal regions, compared with offspring having one or no parent with MDD. Relatively less left frontal activity at lateral sites was associated with lifetime MDD in offspring but not with parental MDD. Offspring with both parents having a MDD also showed markedly greater anterior-to- posterior increase in alpha with eyes closed compared with those with one or no parent with a MDD. Alpha asymmetry indicative of right parietotemporal hypoactivity, previously reported for depressed adolescents and adults, and heightened anterior-to-posterior gradient of alpha are present in high-risk offspring having parents concordant for MDD.
    Biological Psychiatry 03/2005; 57(4):328-35. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This report compares event-related brain potentials (ERPs) of patients having a depressive disorder alone (n = 58), an anxiety disorder alone (n = 22), comorbidity of these disorders (n = 18), and healthy controls (n = 49). ERPs were recorded from 30 electrode sites during auditory oddball tasks using consonant-vowel syllables (phonetic) or complex tones (tonal). Overlapping ERP components were identified and measured using covariance-based principal components analysis. An early P3 subcomponent (P315) was larger in patients having an anxiety disorder alone when compared to depressed patients with or without an anxiety disorder and healthy controls, whereas a late P3 subcomponent (P400) was larger in patients having comorbidity of anxiety and depressive disorders than in the other groups. Also, the N2-P3 complex showed task-dependent hemispheric asymmetries, including larger N2-P3 amplitude over left than right temporoparietal sites during the phonetic oddball task. This hemispheric asymmetry was greatest in patients having a depressive disorder alone and smallest in patients having an anxiety disorder alone. The opposite nature of the alterations of hemispheric asymmetry and early P3 amplitude in depressive and anxiety disorders underscores the importance of taking comorbidity with anxiety into account in studies of cognitive ERPs in depressive disorders.
    Clinical EEG (electroencephalography) 08/2002; 33(3):119-24.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent reports suggest the value of electroencephalographic and dichotic listening measures as predictors of response to antidepressants. This study examines the potential of electroencephalographic alpha asymmetry and dichotic measures of perceptual asymmetry as predictors of clinical response to 12 weeks of treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac). Resting electroencephalography (eyes open and eyes closed) and dichotic listening with word or complex tone stimuli were assessed in depressed outpatients during a pretreatment period. Fluoxetine responders (n = 34) differed from nonresponders (n = 19) in favoring left over right hemisphere processing of dichotic stimuli. They also differed in their resting electroencephalographic alpha asymmetry, particularly in the eyes open condition. Nonresponders showed an alpha asymmetry indicative of overall greater activation of the right hemisphere than the left, whereas responders did not. The relationship between hemispheric asymmetry and treatment response interacted with gender, being evident among depressed women but not men. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that a characteristic tendency toward greater left than right hemisphere activation is associated with favorable response to fluoxetine, whereas the opposite hemispheric asymmetry predicts poor response.
    Biological Psychiatry 04/2001; 49(5):416-25. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study tests the hypothesis that adolescents with major depression exhibit abnormalities in cerebral asymmetry previously found among adults. Perceptual asymmetry was assessed through tests of verbal and non-verbal dichotic listening in four groups - 48 adolescents with major depression, 22 adolescent comparisons with no history of Axis I disorders, 149 adults with major depression, and 57 comparison adults with no history of Axis I disorders. Data from adults have been previously reported. In both age groups, subjects with major depression were further divided based on the presence or absence of an anxiety disorder. Procedures used to collect perceptual asymmetry data in adolescents and adults were identical. In both age groups, depressed and healthy subjects showed perceptual asymmetry in expected directions for verbal and non-verbal dichotic tasks. Depressed and comparison subjects differed in performance on the Fused-Word Test, though these differences varied as a function of anxiety and developmental level. Relative to comparisons, both adolescents and adults with major depression exhibited an increased right ear/left hemisphere advantage for fused words. Adults but not adolescents with comorbid major depressive and anxiety disorders exhibited a reduced right ear/left hemisphere advantage for fused words. These findings suggest similarities and differences across development in the relationship between cerebral laterality and psychopathology. Further studies using longitudinal and family-based designs, as well as various measures of regional brain activity, are needed to enhance understanding of associations between cerebral laterality and psychopathology across development.
    Psychiatry Research 04/2000; 93(2):135-44. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have found greater P3 amplitude over right than left hemisphere sites in a tonal oddball task with a reaction time (RT) response. This asymmetry had a central topography, and interacted with response hand. Identification of the processes underlying these asymmetries requires the use of additional methods for separating response- and stimulus-related contributions. We applied local Hjorth and spherical spline algorithms to compute surface Laplacian topographies of ERP data recorded from 30 scalp electrodes in a pooled sample of 46 right-handed healthy adults. For both methods, the current sources underlying the late positive complex were largest at medial parietal regions, but were asymmetric at central and frontocentral sites. Although a frontocentral sink contralateral to the response hand contributed to the asymmetry of the classic P3 peak, the source asymmetry was most robust after the sink had resolved. The late source was largest at electrode C4 for right hand responses, and was further enhanced in subjects showing a dichotic left ear advantage, but was unrelated to response speed. We conclude that the right hemisphere source reflects an interaction of response-related asymmetries with right hemisphere processes responsible for pitch discrimination.
    Brain Topography 02/1998; 10(3):201-10. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Event-related potentials to binaural complex tones were recorded from 40 depressed outpatients and 22 normal control participants at 30 electrode sites. Patients did not differ from control participants in N1 or P3 amplitude but showed greater N2. N2 was greater over right than over the left hemisphere at lateral sites in patients and control participants. A P3 asymmetry was found for control participants and patients with low scores on a physical anhedonia scale, but not for patients with high anhedonia scores. Topographic (local Laplacian) maps corresponding to P3 showed greater radial current flow over right than over left central regions in control participants. Patients with high anhedonia did not show this asymmetry, whereas patients with low anhedonia showed an intermediate asymmetry. These findings support the hypothesis that anhedonic depression is associated with dysfunction of right hemisphere mechanisms mediating the processing of complex pitch information.
    Psychophysiology 02/1998; 35(1):54-63. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of brain activity in affective disorders need to distinguish between effects of depression and anxiety because of the substantial comorbidity of these disorders. Based on a model of asymmetric hemispheric activity in depression and anxiety, it was predicted that anxious and nonanxious depressed patients would differ on electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of parietotemporal activity. Resting EEG (eyes closed and eyes open) was recorded from 44 unmedicated outpatients having a unipolar major depressive disorder (19 with and 25 without an anxiety disorder), and 26 normal controls using 30 scalp electrodes (13 homologous pairs over the two hemispheres and four midline sites). As predicted, depressed patients with an anxiety disorder differed from those without an anxiety disorder in alpha asymmetry. Nonanxious depressed patients showed an alpha asymmetry indicative of less activation over right than left posterior sites, whereas anxious depressed patients showed evidence of greater activation over right than left anterior and posterior sites. The findings are discussed in terms of a model in which specific symptom features of depression and anxiety are related to different patterns of regional brain activity.
    Biological Psychiatry 06/1997; 41(9):939-48. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unmedicated depressed outpatients were tested on dichotic syllable and complex tone tests prior to receiving 16 weekly sessions of cognitive therapy (n = 31) or 6-12 weeks of placebo treatment (n = 45). Cognitive-therapy responders had twice the right-ear (left hemisphere) advantage for syllables when compared with nonresponders but did not differ from nonresponders on the nonverbal task. The larger right-ear advantage in cognitive-therapy responders was due to better right-ear accuracy; they did not differ from nonresponders in left-ear accuracy. No differences in perceptual asymmetry or accuracy were found between placebo responders and nonresponders. Right-ear accuracy for syllables was the best predictor of response to cognitive therapy in a logistic regression analysis. The findings suggest that greater left-hemisphere advantage for verbal processing is associated with more favorable outcome of cognitive therapy for depression.
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 03/1997; 106(1):138-44. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity has been associated with various psychiatric disorders and behaviors, including depression, suicide, and aggression. We examined quantitative resting EEG in Hispanic female adolescent suicide attempters and matched normal controls. Computerized EEG measures were recorded at 11 scalp sites during eyes open and eyes closed periods from 16 suicide attempters and 22 normal controls. Suicide attempters differed from normal controls in alpha asymmetry. Normal adolescents had greater alpha (less activation) over right than left hemisphere, whereas suicidal adolescents had a nonsignificant asymmetry in the opposite direction. Nondepressed attempters were distinguished from depressed attempters in that they accounted for the preponderance of abnormal asymmetry, particularly in posterior regions. Alpha asymmetry over posterior regions was related to ratings of suicidal intent, but not depression severity. The alpha asymmetry in suicidal adolescents resembled that seen for depressed adults in its abnormal direction, but not in its regional distribution. Findings for suicidal adolescents are discussed in terms of a hypothesis of reduced left posterior activation, which is not related to depression but to suicidal or aggressive behavior.
    Biological Psychiatry 11/1996; 40(8):706-13. · 9.25 Impact Factor
  • Biological Psychiatry 01/1996; 39(7):566-566. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain event-related potentials (ERPs) to probe tones in a dichotic complex tone test were recorded from right-handed depressed patients (n = 44) and normal subjects (n = 19) at homologous sites over left and right hemispheres (F3, F4; C3, C4; P3, P4; O1, O2). There were no differences between groups N1 or P2 amplitude, but patients had smaller P3 amplitude than did normal subjects. Depressed patients failed to show either the left ear advantage or behavior-related hemispheric asymmetry of P3 seen for normal subjects. Depressed patients also showed less difference in hemispheric asymmetry between same and different judgments. These findings indicate that the abnormal behavioral asymmetry for dichotic pitch discrimination in depressed patients reflects a reduction in hemispheric asymmetry and is related to relatively late stages of cognitive processing.
    Psychophysiology 08/1995; 32(4):373-81. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dichotic syllable and complex tone tests were used to compare performance asymmetries in manic patients (n = 35) with normal controls (n = 26) and to determine whether there were changes in laterality with remission of the manic state. Relationships of performance asymmetries to treatment outcome and symptom features were also examined. Compared with normal controls, manic patients showed overall poorer accuracy, particularly for complex tones presented to the left ear, and they failed to show the normal left-ear (right-hemisphere) advantage for complex tones. Abnormal laterality for complex tones was present in patients who later responded to treatment but not in nonresponders. In the euthymic state, patients showed improved left-ear accuracy for complex tones and more normal perceptual asymmetry. These findings suggest that mania is associated with a decrement in right-hemisphere processing of complex tonal information.
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 12/1994; 103(4):758-66. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A hypothesis of overfocused attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder was investigated by measuring auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) during a selective attention task. Unmedicated patients (n = 18) with this disorder showed significantly larger attention-related processing negativity (PN), with earlier onset and longer duration, than did normal controls (n = 15). In the N200 region (160-250 ms), PN was larger in patients with fewer nonspecific neurological soft signs. This task, however, did not yield any group differences in mismatch negativity (N2a) or classical N200 (N2b). P300 amplitudes for attended targets were smaller for patient than normal groups, but the reverse was true for P300 and positive slow wave amplitudes for unattended nontargets. Collectively, these ERP abnormalities suggest a misallocation of cognitive resources. Because of the importance of the frontal lobe in the control of selective attention, PN enhancement in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder may reflect hyperactivation of this region. This conceptualization is consistent with recent functional neuroimaging findings.
    Psychophysiology 12/1994; 31(6):535-43. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A hypothesis of overfocused attention in obsessive-compulsive disorder was investigated by measuring auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) during a selective attention task. Unmedicated patients (n= 18) with this disorder showed significantly larger attention-related processing negativity (PN), with earlier onset and longer duration, than did normal controls (n= 15). In the N200 region (160–250 ms), PN was larger in patients with fewer nonspecific neurological soft signs. This task, however, did not yield any group differences in mismatch negativity (N2a) or classical N200 (N2b). P300 amplitudes for attended targets were smaller for patient than normal groups, but the reverse was true for P300 and positive slow wave amplitudes for unattended nontargets. Collectively, these ERP abnormalities suggest a misallocation of cognitive resources. Because of the importance of the frontal lobe in the control of selective attention, PN enhancement in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder may reflect hyperactivation of this region. This conceptualization is consistent with recent functional neuroimaging findings.
    Psychophysiology 10/1994; 31(6):535 - 543. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current study confirmed with increased sample sizes our preliminary findings of event-related potential (ERP) abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (Towey et al., 1990) and examined their relationship to symptom severity, treatment response, and neurological soft signs. Unmedicated patients (n = 17) showed larger negativities in N200 and slow wave regions than normal control subjects (n = 16) to correctly detected auditory "oddball" stimuli. N200 amplitude was larger over left than right hemispheres of OCD patients, but not normal control subjects. Greater N200 amplitude correlated with less severe obsessions, better response to subsequent treatment with serotonin reuptake blockers, and fewer neurological soft signs in OCD. With increased task difficulty, N200 and P300 latencies lengthened for normal subjects, but not for OCD patients. The abnormal ERP pattern in OCD supports hypotheses of cortical hyperarousal and overfocused attention.
    Psychiatry Research 12/1993; 49(2):167-81. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electrophysiologic correlates of perceptual asymmetry for dichotic pitch discrimination were investigated in 20 normal subjects. Brain event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by dichotic pairs and binaural probe tones in the Complex Tone Test (Sidtis, 1981) were recorded from homologous scalp locations over left and right hemispheres (F3, F4; C3, C4; P3, P4; O1, O2). Baseline-to-peak amplitudes were measured for N100, P200, and a late positive complex consisting of P350, P550, and slow wave. A left ear advantage (LEA) was evident in 70% of the subjects, and hemispheric asymmetries related to this behavioral asymmetry were found for P350 and P550 amplitudes to probe stimuli. Subjects with a strong LEA had greater amplitudes over the right hemisphere than the left, whereas subjects with little or no LEA showed a nonsignificant trend toward the opposite hemispheric asymmetry. Hemispheric asymmetry of these late ERPs at parietal and occipital sites was highly correlated with behavioral asymmetry. These findings suggest the utility of electrophysiological measures in assessing hemispheric asymmetries for processing complex pitch information.
    Psychophysiology 02/1993; 30(1):62-70. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electrophysiologic correlates of perceptual asymmetry for dichotic pitch discrimination were investigated in 20 normal subjects. Brain event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by dichotic pairs and binaural probe tones in the Complex Tone Test (Sidtis, 1981) were recorded from homologous scalp locations over left and right hemispheres (F3, F4; C3, C4; P3, P4; O1, O2). Baseline-to-peak amplitudes were measured for N100, P200, and a late positive complex consisting of P350, P550, and slow wave. A left ear advantage (LEA) was evident in 70% of the subjects, and hemispheric asymmetries related to this behavioral asymmetry were found for P350 and P550 amplitudes to probe stimuli. Subjects with a strong LEA had greater amplitudes over the right hemisphere than the left, whereas subjects with little or no LEA showed a nonsignificant trend toward the opposite hemispheric asymmetry. Hemispheric asymmetry of these late ERPs at parietal and occipital sites was highly correlated with behavioral asymmetry. These findings suggest the utility of electrophysiological measures in assessing hemispheric asymmetries for processing complex pitch information.
    Psychophysiology 12/1992; 30(1):62 - 70. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral laterality in bipolar and unipolar major depression was compared using visual half-field and dichotic listening measures of perceptual asymmetry. The results replicate our prior finding of abnormal laterality in bipolar depressed patients on a visuospatial test. Bipolar patients (n = 11) failed to show the left visual field (right hemisphere) advantage for dot enumeration seen for both unipolar patients (n = 43) and normal controls (n = 24). Bipolar patients performed significantly poorer than unipolar patients on normal controls for left visual field, but not right visual field stimuli. An electrophysiological correlate of abnormal visual field asymmetry in bipolar depression was found in brain event-related potentials recorded during audiospatial and temporal discrimination tasks. Bipolar patients had smaller N100 amplitudes for test stimuli in the left than right hemifield, whereas unipolar patients and normals did not. The origins of left hemifield deficits in bipolar depression are discussed in terms of right-sided dysfunction of an arousal/attentional system involving temporoparietal and possibly frontal regions.
    Biological Psychiatry 08/1992; 32(1):33-47. · 9.25 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

703 Citations
105.14 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1992–2008
    • New York State Psychiatric Institute
      • Anxiety Disorders Clinic
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2001
    • New York University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 1997
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      New York City, NY, United States