Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • Jutta M. Wolf
  • Kirsten Rene
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_482



Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of the functional relationships between central nervous system, behavior, and immune system.

These relationships have been documented to be multidirectional. For example, while behavior can influence immune processes through changes in nervous system signals, immune signals have been shown to alter the function of the central nervous system, thereby influencing behavior. Further, all systems exert regulatory control over each other, forming a complex communication network.

PNI research aims at describing this network and thus to contribute to the understanding of the behavioral and biological mechanisms underlying the links between psychosocial factors and health as well as disease development and progression. Psychosocial factors studied in PNI thereby range from negative psychological states such as depression and anxiety, to social support, interpersonal relationships, and personality factors....

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References and Readings

  1. Ader, R. (2001). Psychoneuroimmunology. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(3), 94–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cohen, S., & Herbert, T. B. (1996). Health psychology: Psychological factors and physical disease from the perspective of human psychoneuroimmunology. Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 113–142.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Maier, S. F., Watkins, L. R., & Fleshner, M. (1994). Psychoneuroimmunology: The interface between behavior, brain, and immunity. American Psychologist, 49(12), 1004–1017.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Schedlowski, M., & Tewes, U. (Eds.). (1996). Psychoneuroimmunology: An interdisciplinary introduction. New York/Boston/Dordrecht/London/Moscow: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.Google Scholar
  5. Vedhara, K., & Irwin, M. (Eds.). (2007). Human psychoneuroimmunology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA