The importance of I. P. Pavlov for the development of neuroscience


DOI: 10.1007/BF02688714

Cite this article as:
Pickehain, L. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science (1999) 34: 85. doi:10.1007/BF02688714


By his experimental and theoretical work on the physiology and pathophysiology of the higher nervous activity I.P. Pavlov significantly influenced the development of Neuroscience. During the 1950 Pavlovian Conference in Moscow, Stalin and the Communist Party tried to dogmatize his and his pupils’ fundamental theories. But the Pavlovian ideas were developed by his pupils in open discussions with representatives of other schools in a very creative way, opening the doors for a systemic approach to understanding the integrative functional systems of brain and behavior. Pavlov emphasized the high plasticity of the central nervous system investigated the complex functional systems within the brain and between the organism and its environment, and designed models for pathological deviations of the higher nervous activity. During his last years, he freed himself from the strong deterministic view and characterized the organism and its environment as a self-organizing system.

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© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LeipzigGermany