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Nation's top experts in psychoneuroimmunology to gather Sept 18-21 in Tampa, Fla.
Date:9/8/2008

whose frontline studies on the psychological and physiological aspects of combat stress during the Vietnam War are considered classics in the field of psychoendocrinology. Other top scholars will include Lydia Temoshok, PhD, of the University of Maryland, author of the book The Type C Connection: Behavioral Links to Cancer and Your Health, and Ronald Glaser, PhD, a pioneer in studies linking stress and infection.

Dr. Hall's research probing the interrelationships between emotions and health has been featured on "Nova" and the Emmy-Award winning television series "Healing and the Mind" produced by Bill Moyers for PBS. He will speak about his previous work at USF and Arizona State University, which indicated that the body chemistry of theatre actors was impacted by the emotions they experienced while performing in a controlled setting. While more study is needed, Hall said, eventually role playing exercises intended to create physiological changes might help patients with chronic illnesses like cancer and AIDS.

Initial skepticism among scientists about the link between emotions and physical health has been greatly muted by mounting evidence from animal and human studies showing that the brain communicates with the immune system and vice versa, said conference speaker Margaret Kemeny, PhD, director of Health Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Kemeny's own research is looking for ways to bridge the science of emotions and meditation with the aim of developing interventions that can influence emotion regulation, biology and health. "We want to determine whether we can modify biological systems by helping people to become aware of and alter their emotional reactions and that's still an open question," she said. "I'd venture to say not one of us in this field thinks psychological interventions should be the sole treatment for any disease. But we are excited about the prospect of developing interventions based on P
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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida Health
Source:Eurekalert

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