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  1. Stanley Krippner

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0739

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Krippner, S. 2010. Psychoneuroimmunology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) can be defined as the study of adaptive interactions among the behavioral, neurological, endocrinal, and immunological systems. PNI emerged from the realization that the immune system does not operate autonomously, as had been assumed by those who had conceptualized it as a closed system. This former perspective assumed the immune system was driven by challenges from foreign substances (antigens) and was regulated by soluble products that were produced and released by immune cells (e.g., lymphokines, cytokines, monokines). Although antigens do initiate immune responses, and cytokines (such as interleukin-1) do regulate immune processes, data now demonstrate that there are bidirectional communication pathways between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS), with each providing important regulatory control over the other (Maier, Watkins, & Fleshner, 1994).


  • bodily defenses;
  • conditioning;
  • homeostasis;
  • immunoregulatory processes;
  • origins of psychoneuroimmunology