Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Psychology and microbiology make unlikely friends, but the past decade has witnessed striking bidirectional associations between intrinsic gut microbes and the brain, relationships with largely untested psychological implications. Although microbe-brain relationships are receiving a great deal of attention in biomedicine and neuroscience, psychologists have yet to join this journey. Here, we illustrate microbial associations with emotion, cognition, and social behavior. However, despite considerable enthusiasm and potential, technical and conceptual limitations including low statistical power and lack of mechanistic descriptions prevent a nuanced understanding of microbiome-brain-behavior relationships. Our goal is to describe microbial effects in domains of cognitive significance and the associated challenges to stimulate interdisciplinary research on the contribution of this hidden kingdom to psychological processes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.tics.2018.04.006

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Cogn Sci

Publication Date

07/2018

Volume

22

Pages

611 - 636

Keywords

antibiotics, commensal bacteria, gut–brain axis, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, interkingdom signaling, microbiome, microbiota, prebiotics, probiotics, psychobiotics