Psychoneuroimmunology in vivo: Methods and Principles

Jos A. Bosch, Christopher G. Engeland and Victoria E. Burns

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342161
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Psychoneuroimmunology in vivo: Methods and Principles

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This chapter provides a primer and practical guide for social scientists who wish to study the effects of social interactions on immune function. It focuses on three widely employed in vivo (i.e., ‘whole body’) assessment methods of immune function, namely, the responses to vaccination, the rate of wound healing, and the control of latent virus infections. The focus on these three in vivo approaches has a strong conceptual and empirical basis. Conceptually, in vivo assessment is the only approach that provides an unambiguous answer regarding the health-relevant impact of social factors on immune function. The empirical basis for focusing on the aforementioned three in vivo assessment methods is straightforward: These three approaches are the only in vivo methods for which meta-analyses show a robust effect which is reproducible across research laboratories.

Keywords: psychoneuroimmunology; wound healing; vaccination; reactivation; latent viruses; methods; review; stress

Article.  11122 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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