Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael Irwin & Julienne Bower & Steve Cole
Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the interactions between brain, behavior, and the immune system. This field has developed from scientific information that the immune system does not operate autonomously. Rather, there are bidirectional communication pathways between the immune system and central nervous system with each having regulatory influences over the other. The presence of these neural-immune interactions provides the basis for the impact of behavioral and psychological factors on immunity and immune-mediated diseases. Conversely, given the ability of immune cell products to alter neural function, immune processes can affect behavior and emotion. The immune system is the body's defense against invading external pathogens such as viruses and bacteria and from abnormal internal cells such as tumors. Innate immunity refers to the body's resistance to pathogens that operates in a nonspecific way without recognition of the different nature of various pathogens, whereas specific immunity is acquired in response to the identification ...