Psychophysiology of Mental Health

B. F. O'Donnell, W. P. Hetrick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Psychophysiology is the study of the relationship between physiological signals recorded from the body and brain to mental processes and disorders. These biological signals may be generated by activity of organs in the body or by muscle activity. In addition, a wide variety of methods can detect neural activity generated within the brain. Brain recordings or imaging include measurement of electrical signals generated by neurons, changes in cerebral blood flow or alterations in brain metabolism. This article provides an overview of psychophysiological methods and how these can be used to understand healthy and disturbed psychological function, to assess mental or neurological illness, to investigate neurobiological mechanisms associated with mental disorders and to develop therapies for human illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123970459
ISBN (Print)9780123977533
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Central nervous system
  • EEG
  • ERPs
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Electrophysiological
  • Emotion
  • Event-related potentials
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Psychopathy
  • Psychophysiology
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual function
  • Sleep disorders
  • Somatic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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  • Cite this

    O'Donnell, B. F., & Hetrick, W. P. (2016). Psychophysiology of Mental Health. In Encyclopedia of Mental Health: Second Edition (pp. 372-376). Elsevier Inc..