Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology

By Carlson, Linda E. | Canadian Psychology, February 2005 | Go to article overview

Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology


Carlson, Linda E., Canadian Psychology


JORGE H. DARUNA Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology Boston, MA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2004, 304 pages (ISBN 0-12-203456-2, US$69.95 Hardcover) Reviewed by LINDA E. CARLSON

Dr. Daruna tackles a large and daunting area of research in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). PNI is not defined, except to say, "It seeks to shed light on how mental events and processes modulate the function of the immune system, and how, in turn, immunological activity is capable of altering the function of the mind" (p. 7). Throughout, the fundamental unity and interconnectedness of bodily systems is emphasized, a cornerstone of PNI first articulated by Robert Ader in 1980. The first two chapters discuss the aim and organization of the book and historical antecedents. Insight from ancient medical wisdom is summarized with the recognition that these philosophies had essentially understood the principal dynamics of balancing bodily systems centuries ago. In this context, PNI uses scientific method to show the long-recognized unity of the organism.

The book is well organized with each chapter suitably divided into sections and subsections; necessary as the text itself is physically small. The intended audience are students in medicine, nursing, psychology, public health or social work. However, those without a university-level biology education may find the chapters on the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems difficult, as the language assumes an understanding of cell biology, neurochemistry, and neuroanatomy. The glossary of terms is helpful but not inclusive and there are a very large number of abbreviations introduced in the first few chapters. Medical students and basic scientists will be most at home in these first chapters, which cover immune system basics (Chapter 3), endocrineimmune modulation (Chapter 4), and neuroimmune modulation (Chapter 5). Much more detail is given here than other sources aimed at students, perhaps too in-depth for some, but valuable for graduate researchers who require a better understanding of the complexities of these systems. A section in Chapter 3 on commonly used measures of immune function is most welcome.

The next section deals with stress, contextual change, and disease (Chapter 6), and psychosocial stress: neuroendocrine and immune effects (Chapter 7). The basic understanding of systemic functioning is applied to the stress paradigm with a repeated emphasis on the importance of context. Stress is viewed as contextual change, with context broken down into the social environment, other life forms, nonliving environment and within the individual organism. Change in any of these spheres constitutes stress. Disease is also framed as a contextual change and therefore, stress. The individual shapes the context in which the immune system operates through thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. This view of the organism existing in several different contexts simultaneously is fitting and recognizes the complexity of layered influences on health and illness.

Chapter 7 moves from theoretical to empirical, summarizing research on neuroendocrine and immune effects of psychosocial stress. As is the case throughout the book, the focus is on the human literature, and research is summarized without reference to studies or authors. Sources are listed at the end of each chapter but without reference in the text to specific findings. Most sources are review articles, books or book chapters, so determining original studies is difficult. This is appropriate for some textbooks but is frustrating to those who wish to investigate specific findings further. Psychosocial effects of stress are organized by the type of outcomes assessed: endocrine activity, autonomie and peripheral neural activity, central nervous system activity, immune system activity (further broken down into nonspecific, humoral, and cell-mediated immunity), and neuroendocrine-immune pathways. This specificity allows the reader easily to focus on areas of interest. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.