The Brain, Resilient

Resilience going neuro

Resilience research is the child of psychology, psychiatry, and sociology, and we owe great gratitude to the pioneers of the field. However, the last decades have seen an enormous gain in our understanding of brain structure and function and of the technologies and methods available to brain researchers. It is time resilience research extends its focus to neurobiology. We must take advantage of animal models, where causal manipulation is more easily feasible. And we must bring the modern tools of human neuroscience to the study of resilience processes. CRC 1193 therefore puts its focus on the neurobiological study of resilience. Our hope is to use the knowledge we generate about the neural mechanisms of resilience for the development of new prevention methods

A common language and a unifying theoretical framework

Psychology, psychiatry, sociology - and now neuroscience! Are we only going to increase the already Babylonian confusion that is reigning in the field of resilience? The field desperately lacks a common language and has not even agreed on a definition of its subject matter. One recent review, trying to identify the commonalities between different definitions of “resilience”, came to the desperate conclusion that “except for the main idea of facing challenges, it is somewhat difficult to guess that all of those definitions concern the same subject.” . What is more, we have no unifying theoretical framework. Resilience reviews still usually are cumbersome enumerations of hypothetical resilience factors, without any links between them or ideas for shared mechanistic pathways. 

CRC 1193 sets out to try to remedy this situation, by developing basic theoretical concepts that unite biological, psychological and sociological aspects and by reaching out to the international community in order to promote common definitions and standards (see also our international partner organization www.intresa.org).

Pęciłło, M (2016) The concept of resilience in OSH management: a review of approaches. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 22:291–300.

Kalisch R, Müller MB, Tüscher O (2015) A conceptual framework for the neurobiological study of resilience. Behav Brain Sci 38:1-79.

Kalisch R, Baker DG, Basten U, Boks MP, Bonanno GA, Brummelman E, Chmitorz A, Fernàndez G, Fiebach CJ, Galatzer-Levy I, Geuze E, Groppa S, Helmreich I, Hendler T, Hermans EJ, Jovanovic T, Kubiak T, Lieb K, Lutz B, Müller MB, Murray RJ, Nievergelt CM, Reif A, Roelofs K, Rutten BPF, Sander D, Schick A, Tüscher O, Van Diest I, van Harmelen A-L, Veer IM, Vermetten E, Vinkers CH, Wager TD, Walter H, Wessa M, Wibral M, Kleim B (2017) The resilience framework as a strategy to combat stress-related disorders. Nat Hum Behav 1:784-90.