Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

November 2004


Published in Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, ed. Alan Christensen, René Martin, and Joshua Morrison Smyth, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, 2004, pp. 95–96. Copyright © 2004 Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Used by permission.


In complex animals the two principal systems of regulation are the endocrine system and the nervous systems. The endocrine system consists of the ductless endocrine glands, which secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. The endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system both regulate most of the involuntary functions of the body, including circulatory functions (e.g., blood pressure and heart rate), energy and arousal levels, reproductive functions, and the immune system. Another major function of endocrine hormones is to regulate tissue growth in young, developing organisms. This abbreviated summary of endocrine system responses to challenge and threat illustrates some of the ways that mind and body interact