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Introduction

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is an interdisciplinary field which studies the relationships between neural and endocrine function, and immune processes. More specifically, PNI attempts to elucidate the relations among behavioural and psychosocial factors, nervous, endocrine and immune systems, and health (Ader & Cohen, 1993; Bachen, Cohen & Marsland, 1997).

PNI is a relatively young discipline, though speculations about relationships between mind and body have recurrently been part of Western thought over the centuries. However, it was in the beginning of the last century that several precedents to the scientific study of the interactions between behaviour and immune function began to appear. Particularly, two Soviet researchers, Metalnikov and Chorine, in the 1920s, produced a Pavlovian conditioning of a variety of non-specific defence responses and antibody production in rabbits in ...

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