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....