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Chronic Social Stress (CSS)


Different types of stressors are known to activate distinct neuronal circuits in the brain. Acute physiological stimuli that are life threatening and require immediate reactions lead to a rapid stimulation of brainstem and hypothalamus to activate efferent visceral pathways. In contrast, psychological stressors activate higher-order brain structures for further interpretations of the perceived endangerment. Common to the later multimodal stressors is that they need cortical processing and, depending on previous experience or ongoing activation, the information is assembled within limbic circuits connecting, e.g., the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex to induce neuroendocrine and behavioral responses.