Research Topic

Mechanisms underpinning the link between emotion, physical health and longevity

About this Research Topic

Biological psychology and neuroscience has embraced the study of emotion, yet the disciplines are at a crossroads over the psychobiological basis of emotion.(1) This crossroads may relate, in part, to recent research interest on the brain, largely sidelining the body as a passive observer. The link between ...

Biological psychology and neuroscience has embraced the study of emotion, yet the disciplines are at a crossroads over the psychobiological basis of emotion.(1) This crossroads may relate, in part, to recent research interest on the brain, largely sidelining the body as a passive observer. The link between brain and body, however, has important implications for understanding the relationship between our mental and physical lives as well as our general physical health. A variety of factors have been proposed for linking specific aspects along the pathway from emotion experience to morbidity and mortality (e.g. psychological flexibility (2), autonomic system function (3), inflammatory factors (4)), however with few exceptions, the pathways remain to be fully fleshed out.

The goal of this research topic is to bring together leading experts on the relationship between emotion and health, who will present the most up-to-date research on psychobiological mechanisms linking day-to-day emotion experience with physical health and mortality. While this is a broad topic, submitted manuscripts must be relevant to the discipline of psychology.

Researchers from diverse disciplines and fields including but not limited to, health psychology, positive psychology, embodied cognition, cognitive neuropsychiatry, psychophysiology, the neurosciences, epidemiology and public health are encouraged to submit manuscripts.

Suitable manuscripts will include a focus on the relationships between mind, brain and body that highlight the implications for health and wellbeing. Experimental work and review articles in animals and humans will be welcomed, as will studies based on cross-sectional as well as longitudinal research designs. Application of sophisticated statistical modeling including conditional process analysis and structural equation modeling of key factors is encouraged. Intervention studies to increase health and wellbeing either in healthy or patient cohorts would also be an excellent addition to this research topic.


References

1. Lindquist, K. A., Siegel, E. H., Quigley, K. S. & Barrett, L. F. The hundred-year emotion war: Are emotions natural kinds or psychological constructions? Comment on Lench, Flores, and Bench (2011). Psychol Bull 139, 255–263 (2013).
2. Kashdan, T. B. & Rottenberg, J. Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clin Psychol Rev 30, 865–878 (2010).
3. Thayer, J. F., Yamamoto, S. S. & Brosschot, J. F. The relationship of autonomic imbalance, heart rate variability and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Int J Cardiol 141, 122–131 (2010).
4. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., McGuire, L., Robles, T. F. & Glaser, R. Emotions, morbidity, and mortality: new perspectives from psychoneuroimmunology. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 53, 83–107 (2002).


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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