Post-Soviet Psychology and Individual Differences in Cognition: A Psychophysiological Perspective

  • Almira Kustubayeva
Part of the The Springer Series on Human Exceptionality book series (SSHE)


In spite of propaganda promoting collectivism and human equality in Soviet times, the study of individual differences was developed due to Pavlov’s great contributions to understanding the physio­logical basis of individual differences. Pavlov made a priority of studying the properties of the higher nervous system, leading to the development of psychophysiological approaches to individual differences by his followers. A key idea developed by Pavlov and his followers was that individual differences in conditioning reflexes support different styles of behavioral regulation and temperament. This insight has led to a distinctive Soviet perspective on individual differences in executive control. Therefore, before going to the main topic of this chapter, I would like to introduce the most important psychophysiological contributions that have influenced the development of the psychology of individual differences.


Individual Difference Mental Activity Cognitive Style Functional System Brain Plasticity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Professor Gerald Matthews, who was my supervisor during my JFDP (Junior Faculty Development Program) Fellowship, for encouraging me to write this paper, and for his useful comments throughout its preparation. JFDP is a United States Government Program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by American Councils for International Education. I am also grateful to Russell H. Ragsdale for his help.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAl-Farabi Kazakh National UniversityAlmatyKazakhstan

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