Neurobiology of resilience

Nat Neurosci. 2012 Nov;15(11):1475-84. doi: 10.1038/nn.3234. Epub 2012 Oct 14.


Humans exhibit a remarkable degree of resilience in the face of extreme stress, with most resisting the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. Over the past 5 years, there has been increasing interest in the active, adaptive coping mechanisms of resilience; however, in humans, most published work focuses on correlative neuroendocrine markers that are associated with a resilient phenotype. In this review, we highlight a growing literature in rodents that is starting to complement the human work by identifying the active behavioral, neural, molecular and hormonal basis of resilience. The therapeutic implications of these findings are important and can pave the way for an innovative approach to drug development for a range of stress-related syndromes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Early Growth Response Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Neurobiology*
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Stress, Psychological* / genetics
  • Stress, Psychological* / pathology
  • Stress, Psychological* / psychology
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Early Growth Response Transcription Factors
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone