Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


  • Jutta M. WolfEmail author
  • Kirsten Rene
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_482-2



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 Further Reading

  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.CrossRefGoogle 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.CrossRefGoogle 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, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anna C. Whittaker
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK