A source-imaging (low-resolution electromagnetic tomography) study of the EEGs from unmedicated males with depression

Psychiatry Res. 2004 Feb 15;130(2):191-207. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2003.08.006.


Imaging studies and quantitative EEG have often, but not consistently, implicated the right hemisphere and the left prefrontal cortex in depression. To help clarify this picture, a spatial filter shown to be effective for enhancing differences between EEG populations was combined with an electrical tomographic approach called low-resolution electromagnetic tomography and used to compare the source-current densities from a group of 25 male subjects with depression and a group of 65 matched controls. To elicit differences, comparisons were made during resting conditions and during verbal and spatial cognitive challenges to the subjects. Estimates of the source-current density were derived from 43-electrode recordings of the EEG reduced to the delta, alpha and beta frequency bands. The depressed subjects were unmedicated and selected according to DSM IV criteria. Regions of significantly increased current density in depression compared to controls were generally right hemispheric, while regions of significantly decreased current density were generally frontal and left hemispheric. A within-group comparison of the depressed subjects during the two cognitive challenges suggested a left anterior functional hypoactivation in depression. Retrospective classification of the two groups indicated that the spatial challenge best separated the groups irrespective of frequency band.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Alpha Rhythm
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Beta Rhythm
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Delta Rhythm
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychotic Disorders / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*