chapter  Chapter 1
24 Pages

Historical Perspectives on Psychoneuroimmunology

WithRobert Ader

Psychoneuroimmunology successfully challenged the commonly held assumption of an autonomous immune system. Some scientists are willing to say they “don’t believe” there’s anything of substance in psychoneuroimmunology, although they are not necessarily willing to be quoted. “Neuroimmunomodulation” and “neuroendocrinimmunology,” mere mispronunciations of psychoneuroimmunology, seem to have been precipitated to disengage from the study of behavior and/or to more specifically brand the field with one’s own personal or disciplinary irons. In retrospect, George Solomon’s perspective on psychoneuroimmunology derived from curiosity, serendipity, psychodynamics, and the organization of disparate observations. In 1983, David Felten was awarded a prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship at the early stage of his work in neural-immune interactions. Parenthetically, this was one of the Foundation’s few ventures into psychoneuroimmunology. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.