Hormones, stress and basic mechanisms


Basic review on stress (Cohen 2007 (58)) 
Neo-Darwinism (Noble 2011 (224))
An inflammatory review of glucocorticoid actions in the CNS (Sorrels 2007 (272))
A pacific culture among wild baboons: its emergence and transmission (Sapolsky 2004 (255))
Psychophysiology of PTSD – a meta-analysis (Pole 2007 (237))
Basal intro-section on stress (HIV stress article) (Billings 2000 (27))
Allostase-concept (Main-ref: intro from McEwen 2006 (202)
The expanded neuroendocrine concept (203)(McEwan 2015)
Cortisol improves the affect (Het 2012 (136))
Can you predict PTSD from hormone tests after trauma? etc: (Dahanty 2000 (80), Walsh 2013 (314), Ehring 2008 (108))
Prevention of PTSD by hydrocortisone. (Delahanty 2013 (79))
Stronger physical stress response predicts better long-term recovery from a traumatic event + glucocorticoids for treatment. (de Quervain 2008+2008+2011 (73-75), Aerni 2004 (4), Benz 2010(23))


Fight and flight response

Cortisol and adrenalin (and testosterone) gives extraordinary physical abilities. (Meyer 2015(206))
Students who have greater increases in adrenalin during exams outperform their chilled out peers. (Dienstbier 1989 (86))


Challenge response

The challenge stress response gives access mental and physical resource’s, and and peak performance. (Stout 2013 (278). Pierrehumberr 2010 (235))
The challenge stress response (Jamieson 2010 (154))
The ratio of DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) to cortisol : “growth index” of stress response (Boudarene 2001 (32), Morgan 2004 (213), Wemm 2010 (322))
The growth index even predicts resilience in extreme circumstances such as recovering from child abuse (Cicchetti 2009(54))
Middle aged older men who have a challenge response to stress, are less likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome than those with a threat response. (Yancura 2006 (331))
Framingham heart study: Those with challenge response physiology had a greater brain volume across their life span (shrunk less with age). (Jefferson 2010(159))
Challenge response consistently predicts better performance under pressure. Students at exams. (Seery 2010 (263), Turner 2012 (295)). Surgeons (Vine 2013 (302)). Pilots/engine failure in simulator (Vine 2014 (303)). 
What you learn from a stressful experience can differ dependent on your stress response. A threat response is more likely to sensitize the brain to future threats. When you have a challenge response, the brain is more likely to learn resilience (combat stress, because of DHEA and nerve growth factor). (Wingen 2011 (299))


Tend and befreiend response 

Increased courage, caregiving, and strengthening your social relationships. (Taylor 2006 (287), Buchanan 2014 (43), Dawans 2012 (305)) 
Polyvagal Theory - the "Social Nervous System, is an affiliative response to stress (Stephen Porges 2009 (238), Porges 2011 (239))
A biological basis for this regulation appears to be oxytocin including peer bonding, sexual activity, and affiliative preferences (Carter 1998 (47)) 
Oxytocin promotes affiliative behavior, including maternal tending and social contact with peers ( Insel 1997 (151))
Oxytocin responsivity in mothers of infants (Light 2000 (189))
Estrogen enhances the effects of oxytocin, whereas androgens inhibit oxytocin release (McCarthy 1995 (200))
Human males show higher levels of the physical fight response than females, Meta-analysis (Eagly 1986 (92))
Females have lower levels of circulating androgens, which are associated with aggression (Archer 1991 (12))
Following exposure to acute stress, men showed an increase in testosterone which increase was associated with hostility (Girdler 1997 (119))
Stress leads to prosocial action in immediate need situations (Buchanan 2014 (43))
Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: tend-and-befriend, (Taylor 2000 (287))
Stress can increase caring, cooperation and compassion, especially in women. (Taylor 2000 (287))
In times of stress, both men and women have shown to become more trusting, generous, and willing to risk their own wellbeing to protect others. (43) Buchanan 2014
At the core, the “tend and befriend”- response is engineered to reduce fear and increase hope, which actually increases activity in three systems of the brain (Keltner 2014(164)):
A. Social caregiving- regulated by Oxytocin
B. The reward system – mediated by Dopamine
C. The atonement system driven by serotonin 
The tend and befriend response makes you social, brave and smart, and others flips the brain’s switch from fear to hope ( Inagaki 2012(149))