Parsing inter- and intra-individual variability in key nervous system mechanisms of stress responsivity and across functional domains

Sharona L. Rab, Roee Admon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Exposure to stressful events is omnipresent in modern human life, yet people show considerable heterogeneity in the impact of stress exposure(s) on their functionality and overall health. Encounter with stressor(s) is counteracted by an intricate repertoire of nervous-system responses. This narrative review starts with a brief summary of the vast evidence that supports heart rate variability, cortisol secretion, and large-scale cortical network interactions as kay physiological, endocrinological, and neural mechanisms of stress responsivity, respectively. The second section highlights potential sources for inter-individual variability in these mechanisms, by focusing on biological, environmental, social, habitual, and psychological factors that may influence stress responsivity patterns and thus contribute to heterogeneity in the impact of stress exposure on functionality and health. The third section introduces intra-individually variability in stress responsivity across functional domains as a novel putative source for heterogeneity in the impact of stress exposure. Challenges and future directions are further discussed. Parsing inter- and intra-individual variability in nervous-system mechanisms of stress responsivity and across functional domains is critical towards potential clinical translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-564
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume120
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this article was supported by grants from the Israeli Council for Higher Education (Alon Scholarship), the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (Formerly NARSAD) Young Investigator Award (Grant ID: 25993 ), and the National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel (NIPI; 202-17-18 ) awarded to Dr. Admon. The authors would like to thank Ido Rab for his aid in preparing the figures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Cortisol
  • Default mode network (DMN)
  • Heart-rate variability (HRV)
  • Individual differences
  • Neural networks
  • Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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