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Kathi L. Heffner

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


Psychoneur oimmunology (PNI) is the scientific study of bidirectional communication between the brain and immune system, and it is grounded in a fundamental health perspective linking mind and body. The domain of PNI research includes the examination of the nervous and endocrine system pathways mediating brain-immune communication, the psychosocial and behavioral factors that play a role in these nervous (neuro), endocrine, and immune system interactions, and aspects of physical, psychological, and social well-being that can be provoked, modulated, or attenuated by these processes. In 1964, George Solomon first used the term psychoimmunology in what has become a landmark publication describing his theoretical approach to understanding relationships among emotions, immune functioning, and disease. In his 1980 presidential address to the American Psychosomatic Society, Robert Ader coined the term psychoneuroimmunology when summarizing research on the interactions among bodily systems that maintain health and their associations with social, psychological and behavioral factors. Although these moments were pivotal in formally defining the field, psychoneuroimmunology has historical roots in mind-body research dating back to the early half of the twentieth century. It was at this time that investigators began to observe associations among psychological, emotional, and behavioral characteristics ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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