Abstract

Considerable evidence exists to support an association between psychological states and immune function. However, the mechanisms by which such states are instantiated in the brain and influence the immune system are poorly understood. The present study investigated relations among physiological measures of affective style, psychological well being, and immune function. Negative and positive affect were elicited by using an autobiographical writing task. Electroencephalography and affect-modulated eye-blink startle were used to measure trait and state negative affect. Participants were vaccinated for influenza, and antibody titers after the vaccine were assayed to provide an in vivo measure of immune function. Higher levels of right-prefrontal electroencephalographic activation and greater magnitude of the startle reflex reliably predicted poorer immune response. These data support the hypothesis that individuals characterized by a more negative affective style mount a weaker immune response and therefore may be at greater risk for illness than those with a more positive affective style.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Grants MH43454, MH40747, P50-MH52354, and P50-MH61083, National Institute on Aging Grant P50-AG21079, NIMH Training Grant T32-MH18931, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mind–Body Interaction.

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Information & Authors

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Published in

Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Vol. 100 | No. 19
September 16, 2003
PubMed: 12960387

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Submission history

Published online: September 5, 2003
Published in issue: September 16, 2003

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Grants MH43454, MH40747, P50-MH52354, and P50-MH61083, National Institute on Aging Grant P50-AG21079, NIMH Training Grant T32-MH18931, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mind–Body Interaction.

Authors

Affiliations

Melissa A. Rosenkranz
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Daren C. Jackson
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Kim M. Dalton
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Isa Dolski
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Carol D. Ryff
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Burt H. Singer
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Daniel Muller
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Ned H. Kalin
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711
Richard J. Davidson
Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; Institute on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 245 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544; and Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711

Notes

To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected].
Contributed by Burt H. Singer, July 25, 2003

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    Affective style and in vivo immune response: Neurobehavioral mechanisms
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Vol. 100
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