SOCIAL STRESS: PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOSOMATIC IMPLICATIONS


May 06-11, 2019
Erice, Sicily, ITALY


Workshop Organizers

Conference goals

Purpose of the Workshop

Conference goals

During the last decade there is a renewed biomedical interest in the crucial role of social environmental factors in mediating human disease risk. Obviously, this is based on the fact that mammals live in complex social systems that are maintained by interactions between conspecifics. Although evolution has shaped these social structures for optimal survival by favoring affiliative and cooperative exchanges, social interactions are often the main source of serious conflicts and insidious stress that negatively impact physical and mental health of certain individuals. Social stressors ranging from social isolation to social instability to social defeat/subordination recruits a highly conserved (neuro)biological machinery principally positioned to effectively deal with these adverse social life situations. Yet, disruptions in the fine-tuned molecular regulation of these neural and neuroendocrine systems may lead to breakdown of adaptation resulting in bodily and mental diseases. What goes awry in the body and brain when the response to social stress stops being a healthy reaction to social life’s inevitable challenges and starts to become a chronic illness? Why do seemingly similar social stressors and adverse social life histories make one person sick but leave another unaffected? And how can we leverage an ever-increasing understanding of the brain and behavior to design new ways to alleviate the suffering of people afflicted by stress-related diseases and, ultimately, prevent them altogether? These are longstanding questions that continue to occupy the interest and work of both clinical and preclinical scientists in a wide variety of disciplines. Current translational research across rodents and humans on social stress-related disorders stand out as a field that is producing discoveries that illuminate mechanisms of vulnerability and pathophysiology at a brisk rate. Hence, the main purpose of this workshop is to provide an opportunity to learn about the most recent and often unpublished findings, discuss these current developments, and meet and interact with internationally distinguished researchers and scientists in this important research field.

Workshop Topics

Conference goals

  • - Stress, social behavior, and resilience: insights from rodents
  • - Social neuroscience and health: animal models and individual differences
  • - The neural mechanisms of social behaviors
  • - Early programming of the social brain
  • - Social stress induced psychopathologies
  • - Social withdrawal as an early indicator of mental disorders
  • - Social modulators of depression
  • - The Darwinian psychiatry view on social stress-induced psychopathology
  • - Social stress, overeating and obesity
  • - Social stress and the gut microbiota-immune-brain axis

Speakers

SIETSE DE BOER

University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

ANDREA SGOIFO

Università di Parma (Italy)

STEFAN REBER

University of Ulm (Germany)

MARTIEN KAS

University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

CLEMENS KIRSCHBAUM

University of Dresden (Germany)

LUCA CARNEVALI

Università di Parma (Italy)

ALESSANDRO BARTOLOMUCCI

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (USA)

JAMES CURLEY

University of Texas, Austin (USA)

MELISSA HOLMES

University of Toronto (Canada)

ANNALIESE BEERY

Smith College, Northampton (USA)

JOHN F. CRYAN

University of Cork (Ireland)

BRENDA PENNINX

Free University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

NORBERT SACHSER

University of Mὔnster (Germany)

ALFONSO TROISI

Università di Roma 2 (Italy)

JULIAN THAYER

Ohio State University, Columbus (USA)

NICOLA MONTANO

Università di Milano (Italy)

CRISTINA OTTAVIANI

Università di Roma 1, (Italy)

SUSAN WOOD

University of South Carolina, Columbia, (USA)

Registration and Abstract Submission