ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (4): 606-617.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00606

• Research Methods • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Measurement of Human Stress Endocrine Axis Function State

HUANG Yamei;ZHOU Renlai;SUN Zhiying;WU Mengying   

  1. (1 Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2 State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (3 Research Center of Emotion Regulation, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (4 Center for Collaboration and Innovation in Brain and Learning Sciences, Beijing 100875, China) (5 Daqing General Hospital Group Oilfield General Hospital, Heilongjiang 163411, China)
  • Received:2013-10-02 Online:2014-04-15 Published:2014-04-15
  • Contact: ZHOU Renlai


Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis is considered to be a major neuroendocrine system for understading physiological repsonses to stress. Dysfunction of HPA axis under resting and stressful conditions have been associated with stress-related disorders. However, the specific cause and feature of HPA dysfunction remains unclear. Cortisol, an end product of HPA axis, is believed to directly reflect the characteristics of HPA activity. Specifically, the salivary cortisol is considered to be an ideal biolgoical sample to index HPA activity. Thus, identifying suitable salivary cortisol markers to reflect HPA regulation under the resting and stressful conditions may help uncover the neuroendocrin basis of stress-related diseases. Recent research has commonly measured cortisol awakening response (CAR) and implemented the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) procedures. Future research should combine the physiolgoical and psychological indices as well as investigate the brain networks of HPA axis, thus to elucidate the brain-neuroendocrine biological pathways for stress response.

Key words: salivary cortisol, cortisol awakening response, Trier Social Stress Test, stress