Reciprocal Relations Between Autonomic and Somatic Learning: Visceral and Motor Conditioning

  • W. Horsley Gantt


The period 1850–1950 has given us two great investigators of reflexes, Pavlov and Sherrington. Pavlov went from the study of gastrointestinal secretions to the study of what he called higher nervous activity; Sherrington studied chiefly the spinal reflexes. Pavlov used mainly autonomic measures, while Sherrington worked with reflexes mediated through the central nervous system. Sherrington espoused a dualism, an emphasis on mind as a separate entity; Pavlov, although he was explicitly philosophically oriented, and although he admitted the importance of the subjective, asserted the necessity of objective methods in science. To Pavlov, dualism meant the confusion of subjective, individual opinions with the measurable and universal. On this basis, he considered himself a monist-materialist, without, however, subscribing to a philosophical system of materialism. Pavlov kept separate the demands of the subjective life and the laboratory, while Sherrington tried to see a unified picture.


Partial Inhibition Reciprocal Relation High Nervous Activity Salivary Secretion Individual Opinion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1968

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  • W. Horsley Gantt

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