The development of I. P. Pavlov's conditioned reflex theory
- ISSN: 1225505X
- PubMed: 11618531
This paper deals with the theory of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), a Russian physiologist who presented for the first time the systematic theory of the function of the brain that controls the whole behavior of animals, i.e. higher nervous activity through experimental studies. This paper, principally based on Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes (1928), investigates the development of conditioned reflex theory from its beginning by dividing it into three periods. First, during the period from 1898 to 1906, the fundamental concept of conditioned reflex was established and the study of conditioned reflex became an independent discipline. From 1907 to 1916, the second period, Pavlov theorized on higher nervous activity on the basis of extensive data from his laboratory experiments of conditioned reflex. And Pavlov complemented conditioned reflex theory, during the third period from 1916 to 1928, and extended the boundaries of it through applications of conditioned reflex theory to psychopathology and typology. The study contributes to the understanding that conditioned reflex theory was historically developed, and not presented as a complete form from the beginning, and that Pavlov intended to study the higher nervous activity through the method of neurophysiology.