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Short Biography Ivan Pavlov. Essay

646 words - 3 pages

Ivan Pavlov was born in a small village in central Russia in 1849 (Girogian). Born as the son of a priest, his family had high hopes of him graduating from seminary. After reading Charles Darwin, he found that he cared more for scientific pursuits and left for the University of St. Petersburg. There he studied chemistry, pharmacology, and most importantly, for him, physiology and received his doctorate in 1879 (Girogian). He continued his studies and began doing his own research in topics that interested him most: digestion and blood circulation. Pavlov's first independent work focused on the physiology of the circulation of the blood (World). He studied the influence of variations in blood volume on blood pressure. He also investigated the nervous control of the heart, and argued that rhythm, and strength of cardiac contractions are controlled by four types of nerves (World). It was during this first independent study that Pavlov used unanesthetized, neurologically intact dogs (World). This method became the mainstay of Pavlov?s methodology.In 1890, he became professor of physiology at the newly founded Institute of Experimental Medicine, where he remained until 1924 (Girogian). The work that made Pavlov world renown actually began as a study in digestion. He started studying digestion as early as 1879, and it was his major focus from 1890 to 1897 (Girogian). His work was an accumulation of observations on the nervous control of one organ system through the method of continual experiment. The study of digestion involved developing "fistulas" through which secretions from salivary glands, stomach, the pancreas, and small intestine could be collected (Discovering). His technique was truly unique in that he did not cut the nerve supply nor contaminate the secretions with food. He was examining the digestive process in dogs, precisely the interaction between salivation and the action of the stomach, when he realized the two were closely linked by reflexes in the autonomic nervous system. Without...

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