What is Allostasis?

Here are 3 definitions of Allostasis:


1. Allostasis is the process of adaptive change of an organism's internal environment to meet perceived and anticipated demands of changing conditions to maintain viability, life, and well-being.  

2. Allostasis is the tendency of a system to change in response to changing conditions in order to achieve and maintain balance. 

3. Allostasis is the brain's ability to continuously predict and adapt to the ever-changing internal and external environments. 

Allostasis is not allostatic stress, but is a related concept. 

The term allostasis was coined by Peter Sterling and Joseph Eyer (1988) meaning "stability through change." Allostasis "is essential to maintain internal viability amid changing conditions."

Allostasis is "maintaining stability through change" in contrast to homeostasis that is "maintaining stability through constancy."

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Why Allostasis Matters for our Health

Licensed Clinical Psychologist: Auburn, California

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