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Department of Psychology Clinical Seminar

Thursday, January 11, 2018,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 126

Ivan Vargas, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Behavioral Sleep & Medicine Program

Center for Sleep & Circadian Neurobiology

University of Pennsylvania

 

Guest of the Department of Psychology - College of Arts & Science, Vanderbilt University

 

THE PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY OF SLEEP: EXPLORING THE COMORBIDITY BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND INSOMNIA

Most would argue that stress reactivity is adaptive. Physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses to environmental challenges are not only necessary for survival; they are directly related to an individual’s health and well-being. This said, altered stress reactivity is also a risk factor for chronic disease. Given this point of view, an essential question is: how does something that is inherently adaptive become maladaptive? More specifically, how can adaptive activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the primary neuroendocrine stress response system, become pathological? The present talk explores this issue as it relates to sleep disturbance (broadly defined), and presents data on the association between sleep disturbance and alterations in HPA-axis functioning. In addition, the interactive association between sleep, HPA-axis functioning, and cognitive biases, and how they are potentially related to the pathophysiology of insomnia and depression will also be discussed.