Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich

Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich ēvänˈ pētrôˈvĭch pävˈləf [key], 1849–1936, Russian physiologist and experimental psychologist. He was professor at the military medical academy and director of the physiology department at the Institute for Experimental Medicine, St. Petersburg, from 1890. Pavlov was a skillful ambidextrous surgeon; using dogs as experimental animals, he established fistulas from various parts of the digestive tract by which he obtained secretions of the salivary glands, pancreas, and liver without disturbing the nerve and blood supply. For his work on the physiology of the digestive glands he received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Using the same technique to create an artificial exterior pouch of the stomach, he experimented on nervous stimulation of gastric secretions and thus discovered the conditioned reflex (see behaviorism), which has had widespread influence in neurology and psychology. He also demonstrated that specific areas in the cerebral cortex are concerned with specific reflexes and based on these findings conceived of a mechanistic theory of human behavior that found political favor; in 1935 the government built a laboratory for him. His chief work was Conditioned Reflexes (1926, tr. 1927).

See biographies by B. P. Babkin (1949) and D. P. Todes (2014); studies by E. Strauss (1963), H. Cuny (tr. 1965), and I. P. Frolov (tr. 1937, repr. 1970).

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