Mind-body influences on immunity: lateralised control, stress, individual differences, and prophylaxis

Gruzelier, John, Clow, Angela, Evans, Philip D., Lazar, Imre and Walker, Leslie (1998) Mind-body influences on immunity: lateralised control, stress, individual differences, and prophylaxis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 851. pp. 487-494. ISSN 0077-8923

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1998.tb09027...


In this article some new directions and hypotheses in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research are outlined. The immune system is undeniably complex, but mechanisms are now being unraveled that demonstrate two-way traffic with the brain and so complement already extensive empirical evidence of powerful psychological influences on immunity.1 We review three new sources of evidence that support the importance of lateralized cortical control, first shown in animal studies, 2,3 and an essential tenet of a controversial theory of handedness and immunity. 4 Here evidence supports involvement of the left hemisphere with upregulation and the right hemisphere with downregulation of the immune system. This is in keeping with the specialization of the left hemisphere for both approach behavior and positive affective expression, and the right hemisphere for withdrawal and negative affect, behavior which itself has opposing influences on immune regulation.5 We examine the influence of stress on the immune system, in one instance investigating the real life stress of news of impending unemployment and in another the stress of medical school examinations. Consideration is also given to situations, well characterized in the laboratory, where stress may lead to upregulation as well as downregulation of the immune system. Individual difference predictors are reported in a longitudinal study of HIV infection and of exam stress in medical students and with regard to the threat of unemployment in the workplace. Finally, the influence of psychological interventions involving hypnosis on examination stress in students and on oncology patients is reported.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Wheelhouse
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2011 12:07
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2011 12:07
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/9925

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