About NIA

Positive Psychobiology

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 to Wednesday, March 13, 2013


There is increasing recognition that positive psychological functioning (PPF; including constructs such as optimism, positive emotions, and social connectedness) influences health above and beyond negative psychological functioning (including constructs such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness). Most research on the relationship between PPF and markers of health to date has focused on deteriorative biological processes and related health outcomes. Significantly less is known about restorative biological processes that may underlie health-relevant aspects of PPF. It seems possible that the biology associated with PPF is not merely the inverse of the processes associated with negative psychological functioning, particularly because the absence of negative psychological functioning does not necessarily indicate the presence of PPF. Despite greater exploration in recent years of the relationship between PPF and physical health, understanding of the underlying mechanisms is still limited.  To address this need, the Princeton University Center for Research on Experience and Wellbeing (CREW), an Edward R. Roybal Center for Translation Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences of Aging funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), hosted the Workshop on Positive Psychobiology in Miami, Florida, on March 12 and 13, 2013. A diverse group of experts gathered to review the status of the field, discuss current challenges, and identify future research priorities. A meeting summary report is available.