Adapted By: Manuel Girbal
Born September 1849 Ryazan, Russia
He began his higher education as a student at the
Ryazan Ecclesiastical Seminary, but then dropped out
and enrolled in the University of Saint Petersburg to
study the natural sciences and become a
physiologist. He received his doctorate in 1879.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 at
Ryazan, where his father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, was a
village priest. He was educated first at the church school in
Ryazan and then at the theological seminary there.
In 1870 Ivan Pavlov abandoned the religious career for which
he had been preparing, and instead went into science. There
he had a great impact on the field of physiology by studying
the mechanisms underlying the digestive system in mammals.
Pavlov became passionately absorbed with physiology, which
in fact was to remain of such fundamental importance to him
throughout his life.
For his outstanding work in the field of physiology he was
nominated to the Nobel Prize in 1904. When he was giving his
speech, he said something that impressed the audience.
Pavlov talked about his “conditional reflexes.”
In 1850, Pavlov was asked to run the “Department of
Physiology at the Institute of Experimental Medicine.” Here
Pavlov would conduct his most important and significant
research, and also he would remain here too (psychology).
“Experiments carried out by Pavlov and his pupils showed that
conditioned reflexes originate in the cerebral cortex, which
acts as the «prime distributor and organizer of all activity of
the organism» and which is responsible for the very delicate
equilibrium of an animal with its environment.”
Pavlov nurtured a great school of physiologists, which
produced many distinguished pupils. He left the a scientific
legacy of a brilliant group of pupils, who would continue
developing the ideas of their teacher.
In 1881 he married Sara Karchevskaya. They had three sons;
Vladimir, Victor and Vsevolod, one of whom became a well
recognized physicist professor. Pavlov continued his research
and work on conditioned reflexes until his death, February
27, 1936.
At First, Pavlov was investigating what was the purpose of
salivation during digestion. He did this by externalizing
a salivary gland so he could collect, measure, and analyze
the saliva and what response it had to food.
Pavlov started to notice that after some time, the dogs would
start to salivate before the food was brought to them. Pavlov
noticing this and deduced that when the dogs heard the
assistant coming with the food they would start to salivate
because they had learned to associate the assistant coming
with their food.
After Pavlov realized that completing the real purpose of his
experiment he decided to study the psychic secretion. This
gave him other answers better than what he was originally set
out to look for. He ended up with what we know as “Pavlov’s
After many attempts on trying to stop the dog from
salivating before the food came, Pavlov tried to isolate the
sound of the assistant coming with food. After many
attempts of isolating the sound with different methods
like a metronome or a bell he discovered another pattern.
He realized that dogs had now associated the bell with
the assistant and the food as well. Noticing this Pavlov
decided to go along the lines of the Psychic process that
would be going on with the dogs.
He decided that this was more interesting than the chemistry
of saliva, and changed the focus of his research, carrying out
a long series of experiments in which he manipulated the
stimuli occurring before the presentation of food.
Apart from finding that saliva was of importance to the
digestive process he also noticed that dogs that had been
familiarized with the pre-feeding exercises in his research
facility, but also began to salivate apparently in association
with pre-feeding routines.
In order to validate his point on classical conditioning Pavlov
had to feed his dogs in association to the sound of a bell
ringing. After a certain time dogs had learned to salivate with
the sound of the bell without sight or smell of the food.
“If a stimulus that results in an emotional response is
repeated alongside another stimulus which does not cause an
emotional response, eventually the second stimulus will result
in the same emotional response. Classical Conditioning is
thus ‘learning by association’.”
Pavlov states that we are pre-determined to unconditionally
to respond to different types of stimuli. For example, when
we hear a sudden loud noise our unconditioned response is
to flinch. This is what Pavlov means by unconditioned
response, in other words an innate reaction.
The typical procedure for inducing classical conditioning
involves presentations of a neutral stimulus along with a
stimulus of some significance. The neutral stimulus could be
any event that does not result in an overt behavioral response
from the organism under investigation. The unconditioned
response will have an innate response or the unconditioned
response. This will eventually
Become into a condition
Stimulus and response.

Ivan Pavlov - manuel