The dynamics of the stress neuromatrix

Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication 12 January 2016; doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.196 Top of page What is stress? As pointed out by Hans Selye1 ‘Stress is a scientific concept which has received the mixed blessing of being too well known and too little understood’. Indeed, there is still no perfect definition of stress that is commonly viewed as the brain’s response to a demand and/or challenge (from now on here referred to as stressors). Stressors can be real or perceived. More so, stressors are not only subject dependent (value attribution), but also have distinct temporal dynamics (recurring, short term or prolonged) and may vary in their intensity (or at least in the individual’s perception of it). That is, stressors can be mild and relatively harmless or result from major events and may have immediate…

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