Pavlov a Man & His Dogs

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Ivan Pavlov
A Man and His Dogs

Many students who eat a hearty breakfast and do not feel hungry as lunchtime rolls around find themselves rushing to the lunchroom with a ravenous appetite as soon as the bell rings. A typical conditioned response, just as Pavlov’s famous dogs did many years ago. Nobel Prize winning physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, first identified this psychological/physiological phenomenon in the late nineteenth century. Since then, the term “Pavlovian Response” has become synonymous with involuntary conditioned response in both animals and humans.

On September 14, 1849, Ivan Pavlov was born in Ryazan, Russia. His father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, was a priest for the town’s church and after graduating from school, Pavlov attended theological seminary. However, after reading The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin and the writings of famous Russian physiologist, I.M. Sechenov, Pavlov decided to pursue a career in science instead of becoming a priest like his father. While at the University of St. Petersburg, Pavlov worked with Elie Cyon on the investigation of pancreatic nerves and received a gold medal honor from the University for his Work. He went on to study at the Military Medical Academy and after finishing his dissertation, Pavlov received his doctor of medicine degree in 1883. Pavlov was able to expand on the works of several leading researchers in order to create his own theories. In 1895, at the St. Petersburg Institute of Experimental Medicine, Pavlov was named Professor of Pharmacology and later was given the title of Professor of Physiology and held that position until 1924. In 1901, Pavlov was elected as a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His major accomplishment was winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his doctoral thesis on the Centrifugal Nerves of the Heart. Pavlov was elected as Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1907 and received an honorary...
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