Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is the study of how psychological, neural, and immunologic processes interact and affect human health and behavior. Although once a relatively small field, some of the most exciting discoveries in psychopathology and mental health research have recently involved ideas and methods from PNI. In reviewing this work, I first summarize the structure and function of the human immune system, focusing primarily on inflammation. Second, I describe neural and physiologic pathways that link the brain and immune system, which give neurocognitive processes the ability to regulate the immune system and immunologic processes the ability to affect neural, cognitive-emotional, and behavioral outcomes. Third, I review studies examining associations between life stress and inflammation, and inflammation and mental health. Finally, I highlight several promising avenues for future research. Overall, despite the notable impact that PNI has already had on our understanding of mental and physical health, many important questions remain unanswered.

Keywords: stress, cytokines, inflammation, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, suicide, health, disease

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.