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Stress and the brain: individual variability and the inverted-U

It is a truism that the brain influences the body and that peripheral physiology influences the brain. Never is this clearer than during stress, where the subtlest emotions or the most abstract thoughts can initiate stress responses, with consequences throughout the body, and the endocrine transducers of stress alter cognition, affect and behavior. For a fervent materialist, few things in life bring more pleasure than contemplating the neurobiology of stress.

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Figure 1: Conceptualization of the inverted-U in the context of the benefits and costs of stress.

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Correspondence to Robert M Sapolsky.

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Sapolsky, R. Stress and the brain: individual variability and the inverted-U. Nat Neurosci 18, 1344–1346 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4109

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