Иван павлов на английском языке кратко

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

Died At Age: 86


Spouse/Ex-: Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya (m. 1881)

father: Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov

mother: Varvara Ivanovna Uspenskaya

children: Mirchik Pavlov, Vera Pavlov, Vsevolod Pavlov VladimirPavlov

Born Country: Russia



Died on: February 27, 1936

place of death: Saint Petersburg, Russia

discoveries/inventions: Discovered ‘nervism’ And ‘physiology Of Digestion’

More Facts

education: Ryazan Church School, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg State University

awards: 1904 — Nobel laureate for his work on the physiology of digestion

Childhood & Early Life

Ivan Pavlov was born to Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, a village priest and Varvara Ivanovna, a homemaker. He was the eldest of 11 siblings and loved to do household chores and take care of his younger brothers and sisters.

An active child, he loved to garden, cycle, swim and row. He also liked to read. However, a serious injury kept him away from school till he was about 11 years old.

He attended the Ryazan Ecclesiastical High School and later went to the Ryazan Ecclesiastical Seminary. As a youngster, he planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in theology.

During this time he was exposed to the works of Charles Darwin and Ivan Sechenov which influenced him to study natural sciences. Thus, he quit the seminary in 1870.

He enrolled at the University of St. Petersburg to study physics, mathematics and natural sciences. There he met Professor Cyon who taught physiology and Ivan was influenced by him to become a physiologist.

He proved to be an exceptional student and won prestigious university awards. He completed his course in 1875 and received the degree of Candidate of Natural Sciences.

He went to the Academy of Medical Surgery to further his education in physiology.


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He became a laboratory assistant to Professor Ustimovich at the physiological department of the Veterinary Institute in 1876 and held this position till 1878.

He completed the course he was studying at the Academy of Medical Surgery in 1879 and was awarded a gold medal.

He won a fellowship to pursue postgraduate work at the Medical Military Academy in 1880. He discovered the dynamic nerves of the heart and presented his doctor’s thesis on ‘The Centrifugal nerves of the heart’ and gave the concept of nervism.

He became a lecturer in physiology at the Military Medical Academy in 1884 and went to Germany for a period of two years to study with Carl Ludwig in the Heidenhain laboratories where he began to study the digestive system of dogs.

He was made the Professor of Pharmacology at the Military Medical Academy in 1890 and was appointed as the head of the physiology department in 1895. He held this position till 1925.

In 1891, he joined the Institute of Experimental Medicine where he helped to organize and direct the Department of Physiology for a period of 45 years. Under his guidance, it became one of the most important centers of physiological research.

During this time, he conducted several experiments on the physiology of digestion. He developed an experimental method for observing the functions of various organs under relatively normal conditions. This discovery ushered in a new era in experimental physiology.

Through his experiments on dogs the showed that it was primarily the nervous system which regulated the digestive processes. He published his findings under the title ‘Lectures on the functions of the principal digestive glands’ in 1897.

He was made a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1901. Starting from 1901, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize four times before finally being awarded it in 1904.

After serving as a professor in the Military Medical Academy for several years, he resigned in 1924. He continued contributing towards scientific research by mentoring bright pupils in the field of physiology till his death.

Major Works

His biggest contribution towards science is his research on the physiology of digestive system which led to the creation of the Classical Conditioning model of experimentation. He contributed immensely to the field of neurological sciences by discovering conditioning and involuntary reflex actions.

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 «in recognition of his work on the physiology of digestion, through which knowledge on vital aspects of the subject has been transformed and enlarged».

He was awarded the Order of the legion of Honour by the Medical Academy of Paris in 1915.

Personal Life & Legacy

He had a difficult personal life in spite of all his professional successes. He married Seraphima Vasilievna in 1881. The couple suffered from financial problems during the early years of their marriage and also had to bear the loss of a child. They eventually had four surviving children.

Pavlov died of double pneumonia in 1936 at the age of 86.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (Russian: Иван Петрович Павлов, IPA: [ɪˈvan pʲɪˈtrovʲɪtɕ ˈpavləf] ; 26 September [O.S. 14 September] 1849 – 27 February 1936)[2] was a Russian and Soviet experimental neurologist and physiologist known for his discovery of classical conditioning through his experiments with dogs.

Ivan Pavlov


Иван Павлов

Pavlov in 1890

Born 26 September 1849

Ryazan, Ryazan Governorate, Russian Empire

Died 27 February 1936 (aged 86)

Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Alma mater Saint Petersburg University
Known for
  • Founder of modern behavior therapy
  • Classical conditioning

Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya

(m. )

Children 5
  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1904)
  • ForMemRS (1907)[1]
  • Copley Medal (1915)
Scientific career
Fields Physiology, psychology
Institutions Imperial Military Medical Academy
Doctoral students Pyotr Anokhin, Boris Babkin, Leon Orbeli

Education and early life


The Pavlov Memorial Museum in Ryazan, Pavlov’s former home, built in the early 19th century[3]

Pavlov was born the first of ten children,[4] in Ryazan, Russian Empire. His father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov (1823–1899), was a village Russian Orthodox priest.[5] His mother, Varvara Ivanovna Uspenskaya (1826–1890), was a devoted homemaker. As a child, Pavlov willingly participated in house duties such as doing the dishes and taking care of his siblings. He loved to garden, ride his bicycle, row, swim, and play gorodki; he devoted his summer vacations to these activities.[6] Although able to read by the age of seven, Pavlov did not begin formal schooling until he was 11 years old, due to serious injuries he had sustained when falling from a high wall onto the stone pavement.[7][4]

From his childhood days, Pavlov demonstrated intellectual curiosity along with an unusual energy which he referred to as «the instinct for research».[8] Inspired by the progressive ideas which Dmitry Pisarev, a Russian literary critic of the 1860s, and Ivan Sechenov, the father of Russian physiology, were spreading, Pavlov abandoned his religious career and devoted his life to science. In 1870, he enrolled in the physics and mathematics department at the University of Saint Petersburg to study natural science.[1]

Pavlov attended the Ryazan church school before entering the local theological seminary. In 1870, however, he left the seminary without graduating to attend the university at St. Petersburg. There he enrolled in the physics and math department and took natural science courses. In his fourth year, his first research project on the physiology of the nerves of the pancreas[9] won him a prestigious university award. In 1875, Pavlov completed his course with an outstanding record and received the degree of Candidate of Natural Sciences. Impelled by his overwhelming interest in physiology, Pavlov decided to continue his studies and proceeded to the Imperial Academy of Medical Surgery. While at the academy, Pavlov became an assistant to his former teacher, Elias von Cyon.[10] He left the department when de Cyon was replaced by another instructor.

After some time, Pavlov obtained a position as a laboratory assistant to Konstantin Nikolaevich Ustimovich at the physiological department of the Veterinary Institute.[11] For two years, Pavlov investigated the circulatory system for his medical dissertation.[4] In 1878, Professor S. P. Botkin, a famous Russian clinician, invited the gifted young physiologist to work in the physiological laboratory as the clinic’s chief. In 1879, Pavlov graduated from the Medical Military Academy with a gold medal award for his research work. After a competitive examination, Pavlov won a fellowship at the academy for postgraduate work.[12]

The fellowship and his position as director of the Physiological Laboratory at Botkin’s clinic enabled Pavlov to continue his research work.[citation needed] In 1883, he presented his doctor’s thesis on the subject of The centrifugal nerves of the heart and posited the idea of nerves and the basic principles on the trophic function of the nervous system. Additionally, his collaboration with the Botkin Clinic produced evidence of a basic pattern in the regulation of reflexes in the activity of circulatory organs.[citation needed]

He was inspired to pursue a scientific career by D. I. Pisarev, a literary critic and natural science advocate of the time and I. M. Sechenov, a Russian physiologist, whom Pavlov described as «the father of physiology».[5]



Pavlov and his future wife, Seraphima Vasilievna, in 1880
A 1935 portrait of Pavlov by Mikhail Nesterov

After completing his doctorate, Pavlov went to Germany, where he studied in Leipzig with Carl Ludwig and Eimear Kelly in the Heidenhain laboratories in Breslau. He remained there from 1884 to 1886. Heidenhain was studying digestion in dogs, using an exteriorized section of the stomach. However, Pavlov perfected the technique by overcoming the problem of maintaining the external nerve supply. The exteriorized section became known as the Heidenhain or Pavlov pouch.[4]

In 1886, Pavlov returned to Russia to look for a new position. His application for the chair of physiology at the University of Saint Petersburg was rejected. Eventually, Pavlov was offered the chair of pharmacology at Tomsk University in Siberia and at the University of Warsaw in Poland. He did not take up either post. In 1890, he was appointed the role of professor of Pharmacology at the Military Medical Academy and occupied the position for five years.[13] In 1891, Pavlov was invited to the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg to organize and direct the Department of Physiology.[14]

Over a 45-year period, under his direction, the institute became one of the most important centers of physiological research in the world.[5] Pavlov continued to direct the Department of Physiology at the institute, while taking up the chair of physiology at the Medical Military Academy in 1895. Pavlov would head the physiology department at the academy continuously for three decades.[13]

Starting in 1901, Pavlov was nominated over four successive years for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He did not win the prize until 1904 because his previous nominations were not specific to any discovery, but based on a variety of laboratory findings.[15] When Pavlov received the Nobel Prize it was specified that he did so «in recognition of his work on the physiology of digestion, through which knowledge on vital aspects of the subject has been transformed and enlarged».[16]

At the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Pavlov carried out his classical experiments on the digestive glands, which would eventually grant him the aforementioned Nobel prize.[17] Pavlov investigated the gastric function of dogs, and later, homeless children,[18] by externalizing a salivary gland so he could collect, measure, and analyze the saliva and what response it had to food under different conditions. He noticed that the dogs tended to salivate before food was actually delivered to their mouths, and set out to investigate this «psychic secretion», as he called it. Experiments on orphaned children, involving drilling a hole in their cheeks and applying electric shocks, were continued by his assistant Nikolay Krasnogorsky.[19][20][failed verification]

Pavlov’s laboratory housed a full-scale kennel for the experimental canines. Pavlov was interested in observing their long-term physiological processes. This required keeping them alive and healthy to conduct chronic experiments, as he called them. These were experiments over time, designed to understand the normal functions of dogs. This was a new kind of study, because previously experiments had been «acute,» meaning that the dog went through vivisection which ultimately killed the canine in the process.[15]

A 1921 article by Sergius Morgulis in the journal Science was critical of Pavlov’s work, raising concerns about the environment in which these experiments had been performed. Based on a report from H. G. Wells, claiming that Pavlov grew potatoes and carrots in his laboratory the article stated, «It is gratifying to be assured that Professor Pavlov is raising potatoes only as a pastime and still gives the best of his genius to scientific investigation».[21] That same year, Pavlov began holding laboratory meetings known as the ‘Wednesday meetings’ at which he spoke frankly on many topics, including his views on psychology. These meetings lasted until he died in 1936.[15]

Pavlov was highly regarded by the Soviet government, and he was able to continue his research until he reached a considerable age. He was praised by Lenin.[22] Despite praise from the Soviet Union government, the money that poured in to support his laboratory, and the honours he was given, Pavlov made no attempts to conceal the disapproval and contempt with which he regarded Soviet Communism.[2]

In 1923, he stated that he would not sacrifice even the hind leg of a frog to the type of social experiment that the regime was conducting in Russia. Four years later he wrote to Stalin, protesting at what was being done to Russian intellectuals and saying he was ashamed to be a Russian.[8] After the murder of Sergei Kirov in 1934, Pavlov wrote several letters to Molotov criticizing the mass persecutions which followed and asking for the reconsideration of cases pertaining to several people he knew personally.[8]

Conscious until his final moment, Pavlov asked one of his students to sit beside his bed and to record the circumstances of his dying. He wanted to create unique evidence of subjective experiences of this terminal phase of life.[23] Pavlov died of double pneumonia at the age of 86. He was given a grand funeral, and his study and laboratory were preserved as a museum in his honour.[8] His grave is in the Literatorskie mostki (writers’ footways) section of Volkovo Cemetery in St. Petersburg.

Reflex system research


Further information: Reflex

Pavlov contributed to many areas of physiology and neurological sciences. Most of his work involved research in temperament, conditioning and involuntary reflex actions.
Pavlov performed and directed experiments on digestion, eventually publishing The Work of the Digestive Glands in 1897, after 12 years of research. His experiments earned him the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.[24]

These experiments included surgically extracting portions of the digestive system from nonhuman animals, severing nerve bundles to determine the effects, and implanting fistulas between digestive organs and an external pouch to examine the organ’s contents. This research served as a base for broad research on the digestive system. Further work on reflex actions involved involuntary reactions to stress and pain.[citation needed]

Nervous system research



One of Pavlov’s dogs with a surgically implanted cannula to measure salivation, preserved in the Pavlov Museum in Ryazan, Russia

Pavlov was always interested in biomarkers of temperament types described by Hippocrates and Galen. He called these biomarkers «properties of nervous systems» and identified three main properties: (1) strength, (2) mobility of nervous processes and (3) a balance between excitation and inhibition and derived four types based on these three properties. He extended the definitions of the four temperament types under study at the time: choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine, and melancholic, updating the names to «the strong and impetuous type, the strong equilibrated and quiet type, the strong equilibrated and lively type, and the weak type», respectively.[citation needed]

Pavlov and his researchers observed and began the study of transmarginal inhibition (TMI), the body’s natural response of shutting down when exposed to overwhelming stress or pain by electric shock.[25][failed verification] This research showed how all temperament types responded to the stimuli the same way, but different temperaments move through the responses at different times. He commented «that the most basic inherited difference … was how soon they reached this shutdown point and that the quick-to-shut-down have a fundamentally different type of nervous system.»[26]

Pavlov carried out experiments on the digestive glands, as well as investigated the gastric function of dogs, and eventually won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904,[8][16] becoming the first Russian Nobel laureate. A survey in the Review of General Psychology, published in 2002, ranked Pavlov as the 24th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.[27]

Pavlov’s principles of classical conditioning have been found to operate across a variety of behavior therapies and in experimental and clinical settings, such as educational classrooms and even reducing phobias with systematic desensitization.[28][29]

Classical conditioning


The basics of Pavlov’s classical conditioning serve as a historical backdrop for current learning theories.[30] However, the Russian physiologist’s initial interest in classical conditioning occurred almost by accident during one of his experiments on digestion in dogs.[31] Considering that Pavlov worked closely with nonhuman animals throughout many of his experiments, his early contributions were primarily about learning in nonhuman animals. However, the fundamentals of classical conditioning have been examined across many different organisms, including humans.[31] The basic underlying principles of Pavlov’s classical conditioning have extended to a variety of settings, such as classrooms and learning environments.

Classical conditioning focuses on using preceding conditions to alter behavioral reactions. The principles underlying classical conditioning have influenced preventative antecedent control strategies used in the classroom.[32] Classical conditioning set the groundwork for the present day behavior modification practices, such as antecedent control. Antecedent events and conditions are defined as those conditions occurring before the behavior.[33] Pavlov’s early experiments used manipulation of events or stimuli preceding behavior (i.e., a tone) to produce salivation in dogs much like teachers manipulate instruction and learning environments to produce positive behaviors or decrease maladaptive behaviors. Although he did not refer to the tone as an antecedent, Pavlov was one of the first scientists to demonstrate the relationship between environmental stimuli and behavioral responses. Pavlov systematically presented and withdrew stimuli to determine the antecedents that were eliciting responses, which is similar to the ways in which educational professionals conduct functional behavior assessments.[34] Antecedent strategies are supported by empirical evidence to operate implicitly within classroom environments. Antecedent-based interventions are supported by research to be preventative, and to produce immediate reductions in problem behaviors.[32]

Awards and honours


Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1907,[1] elected an International Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1908,[35] was awarded the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 1915, and elected an International Member of the American Philosophical Society in 1932.[36] He became a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1907.[37] Pavlov’s dog, the Pavlovian session and Pavlov’s typology are named in his honour. The asteroid 1007 Pawlowia and the lunar crater Pavlov were also named after him.[38]



The concept for which Pavlov is best known is the «conditioned reflex», or what he called the «conditional reflex», which he developed jointly with his assistant Ivan Tolochinov in 1901; Edwin B. Twitmyer at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia published similar research in 1902, a year before Pavlov published his. The concept was developed after observing the rates of salivation in dogs. Pavlov noticed that his dogs began to salivate in the presence of the technician who normally fed them, rather than simply salivating in the presence of the food. If a buzzer or metronome was sounded before the food was given, the dog would later come to associate the sound with the presentation of the food and salivate upon the presentation of the sound stimulus alone.[39]
Tolochinov, whose own term for the phenomenon had been «reflex at a distance», communicated the results at the Congress of Natural Sciences in Helsinki in 1903.[40] Later the same year Pavlov more fully explained the findings, at the 14th International Medical Congress in Madrid, where he read a paper titled The Experimental Psychology and Psychopathology of Animals.[5]

As Pavlov’s work became known in the West, particularly through the writings of John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner, the idea of «conditioning», as an automatic form of learning, became a key concept in the developing specialism of comparative psychology, and the general approach to psychology that underlay it, behaviorism. Pavlov’s work with classical conditioning was of huge influence on how humans perceived themselves, their behavior and learning processes; his studies of classical conditioning continue to be central to modern behavior therapy.[41]

The Pavlov Institute of Physiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded by Pavlov in 1925 and named after him following his death.[42]

British philosopher Bertrand Russell observed that «[w]hether Pavlov’s methods can be made to cover the whole of human behaviour is open to question, but at any rate they cover a very large field and within this field they have shown how to apply scientific methods with quantitative exactitude».[43]

Pavlov’s research on conditional reflexes greatly influenced not only science, but also popular culture. Pavlovian conditioning is a major theme in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel, Brave New World (1932), and in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973).

It is popularly believed that Pavlov always signalled the occurrence of food by ringing a bell. However, his writings record the use of a wide variety of stimuli, including electric shocks, whistles, metronomes, tuning forks, and a range of visual stimuli, in addition to the ring of a bell. In 1994, A. Charles Catania cast doubt on whether Pavlov ever actually used a bell in his experiments.[44] Littman tentatively attributed the popular imagery to Pavlov’s contemporaries Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev and John B. Watson. Roger K. Thomas, of the University of Georgia, however, said they had found «three additional references to Pavlov’s use of a bell that strongly challenge Littman’s argument».[45] In reply, Littman suggested that Catania’s recollection, that Pavlov did not use a bell in research, was «convincing … and correct».[46]

In 1964, the psychologist Hans Eysenck reviewed Pavlov’s «Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes» for The BMJ: Volume I – «Twenty-five Years of Objective Study of the Higher Nervous Activity of Animals», Volume II – «Conditioned Reflexes and Psychiatry».[47]

In popular culture


Pavlov was mentioned by character Jane Lane in «Quinn the Brain», the third episode of the second season of Daria. In the episode, Jane has a conversation with Daria’s sister, Quinn. When Quinn asks Jane why the students at Lawndale High are suddenly intrigued with her sudden reputation as a «brain», Jane tells Quinn: «Well, you know, condition people to expect nothing, and the least little something gets them all excited. Ask Pavlov.»[48] That episode originally aired on MTV on March 2, 1998.[49]

Personal life


Pavlov (right) and his granddaughter Milochka pictured with H. G. Wells in 1924

Pavlov married Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya on 1 May 1881, whom he had met in 1878 or 1879 when she went to St. Petersburg to study at the Pedagogical Institute. Seraphima, called Sara for short, was born in 1855. In her later years, she suffered from ill health and died in 1947.

The first nine years of their marriage were marred by financial problems; Pavlov and his wife often had to stay with others to have a home, and for a time, the two lived apart so that they could find hospitality. Although their poverty caused despair, material welfare was a secondary consideration. Sara’s first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. When she conceived again, the couple took precautions, and she safely gave birth to their first child, a boy whom they named Mirchik; Sara became deeply depressed following Mirchik’s sudden death in childhood.

Pavlov and his wife eventually had four more children: Vladimir, Victor, Vsevolod, and Vera.[5] Their youngest son, Vsevolod, died of pancreatic cancer in 1935, only one year before his father.[50]

Pavlov was an atheist.[51]

See also


  • Georgii Zeliony
  • Orienting response
  • Rostov State Medical University



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  51. ^ Pavlov’s follower E.M. Kreps asked him whether he was religious. Kreps writes that Pavlov smiled and replied: «Listen, good fellow, in regard to [claims of] my religiosity, my belief in God, my church attendance, there is no truth in it; it is sheer fantasy. I was a seminarian, and like the majority of seminarians, I became an unbeliever, an atheist in my school years.» Quoted in Windholz, George (1986). «Pavlov’s Religious Orientation». Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 25 (3): 320–27. doi:10.2307/1386296. JSTOR 1386296.



  • Asratyan, E. A. (1953). I. P. Pavlov: His Life and Work. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.

Further reading


  • Boakes, Robert (1984). From Darwin to behaviourism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23512-9.
  • Firkin, Barry G.; J.A. Whitworth (1987). Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. Parthenon Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85070-333-4.
  • Todes, D. P. (1997). «Pavlov’s Physiological Factory». Isis. 88 (2): 205–246. doi:10.1086/383690. JSTOR 236572. PMID 9325628. S2CID 19598834.

External links


  • PBS article
  • Institute of Experimental Medicine article on Pavlov
  • Link to a list of Pavlov’s dogs with some pictures
  • Commentary on Pavlov’s Conditioned Reflexes from 50 Psychology Classics
  • Ivan Pavlov and his dogs
  • Ivan P. Pavlov: Toward a Scientific Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Works by or about Ivan Pavlov at Internet Archive
  • Works by Ivan Pavlov at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)  
  • Newspaper clippings about Ivan Pavlov in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
  • Ivan Pavlov on Nobelprize.org   including the Nobel Lecture on 12 December 1904 Physiology of Digestion


Who Was Ivan Petrovich Pavlov?

Ivan Pavlov abandoned his early theological schooling to study science. As the Department of Physiology head at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, his groundbreaking work on the digestive systems of dogs earned him the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904. Pavlov remained an active researcher until his death on February 27, 1936.

Early Life and Education

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849, in Ryazan, Russia. The son of a priest, he attended a church school and theological seminary. However, he was inspired by the ideas of Charles Darwin and I.M. Sechenov, the father of Russian physiology, and gave up his theological studies in favor of scientific pursuit.

Pavlov studied chemistry and physiology at the University of St. Petersburg and received the degree of Candidate of Natural Sciences in 1875. He then enrolled at the Imperial Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, completing his graduate dissertation on the centrifugal nerves of the heart in 1883.

Discovery and Theory

After graduation, Pavlov studied under cardiovascular physiologist Carl Ludwig in Leipzig, Germany, and gastrointestinal physiologist Rudolf Heidenhain in Breslau, Poland. With Heidenhain, he devised an operation in which he created an exteriorized «pouch» on a dog’s stomach and maintained nerve supply to properly study gastrointestinal secretions. He then spent two years at a laboratory in St. Petersburg, where he researched cardiac physiology and the regulation of blood pressure.

In 1890, Pavlov took charge of the Department of Physiology at the newly created Institute of Experimental Medicine. He was also named Professor of Pharmacology at the Imperial Medical Academy, and five years later was appointed to its vacant Chair of Physiology. During this period, Pavlov focused on the secretory activity of digestion in dogs, implanting fistulas in their salivary ducts to record the uninterrupted effects of the nervous system on the digestive process.

Pavlov’s observations led him to formulate his concept of the conditioned reflex. In his most famous experiment, he sounded a tone just before presenting dogs with food, conditioning them to begin salivating every time he sounded the tone. Pavlov published his results in 1903, and delivered a presentation on «The Experimental Psychology and Psychopathology of Animals» at the 14th International Medical Congress in Madrid, Spain, later that year.

Nobel Prize and Achievements

For his groundbreaking work, Pavlov was named the 1904 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine. More honors followed over the years. He was elected Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1907, and in 1912 he was given an honorary doctorate at Cambridge University. Following a recommendation by the Medical Academy of Paris, he was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honour in 1915.

Later Years

Later in life, Pavlov applied his laws to the study of psychosis, arguing that some people withdrew from daily interactions with others due to the association of external stimuli with a harmful event. Although he was notably dismissive of psychology as a pseudo-science, his research helped lay the groundwork of several important concepts in the then-nascent discipline.

Pavlov openly decried the war-torn conditions of his country after the Russian Revolution of 1917. He toed a dangerous line with his criticism of Communism after visits to the United States in the 1920s, though he escaped prosecution due to his standing as one of Russia’s preeminent scientists. Pavlov softened his tone in the last years of his life, perhaps due to increased government support of scientific research. He remained devoted to his lab work until his death from double pneumonia on February 27, 1936, in Leningrad.

Personal Life

In 1881, Pavlov married pedagogical student Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya. The couple had virtually no money in their early years together, and often lived separately until their finances stabilized. Their first son died suddenly as a young child, but they proceeded to have three more sons and a daughter.


  • Name: Ivan Petrovich Pavlov
  • Birth Year: 1849
  • Birth date: September 14, 1849
  • Birth City: Ryazan
  • Birth Country: Russia
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov developed his concept of the conditioned reflex through a famous study with dogs and won a Nobel Prize Award in 1904.
  • Industries
    • Science and Medicine
    • Education and Academia
  • Astrological Sign: Virgo
  • Schools
    • University of St. Petersburg
    • Imperial Medical Academy
  • Interesting Facts
    • A dying Ivan Pavlov asked one of his students to sit by his bed to record observations of his final days.
  • Death Year: 1936
  • Death date: February 27, 1936
  • Death City: Leningrad
  • Death Country: Russia

Fact Check

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  • Article Title: Ivan Petrovich Pavlov Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/scientists/ivan-petrovich-pavlov
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: November 9, 2021
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014


  • As a young man I entered the laboratory, I have spent my entire life in it, I became an old man in it, and it is my dream to spend my final days in it.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (September 14, 1849 — February 27, 1936) was a Nobel Prize-winning physiologist best known for his classical conditioning experiments with dogs. In his research, he discovered the conditioned reflex, which shaped the field of behaviorism in psychology.

Fast Facts: Ivan Pavlov

  • Occupation: Physiologist
  • Known For: Research on conditioned reflexes («Pavlov’s Dogs»)
  • Born: September 14, 1849, in Ryazan, Russia
  • Died: February 27, 1936, in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia
  • Parents: Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov and Varvara Ivanovna Uspenskaya
  • Education: M.D., Imperial Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Key Accomplishments: Nobel Prize for Physiology (1904)
  • Offbeat Fact: A lunar crater on the Moon was named after Pavlov.

Early Years and Education

Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849, in the small village of Ryazan, Russia. His father, Peter Dmitrievich Pavlov, was a priest who hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps and join the church. In Ivan’s early years, it seemed that his father’s dream would become a reality. Ivan was educated at a church school and a theological seminary. But when he read the works of scientists like Charles Darwin and I. M. Sechenov, Ivan decided to pursue scientific studies instead.

He left the seminary and began studying chemistry and physiology at the University of St. Petersburg. In 1875, he earned an M.D. from the Imperial Medical Academy before going on to study under Rudolf Heidenhain and Carl Ludwig, two renowned physiologists. 

Personal Life and Marriage

Ivan Pavlov married Seraphima Vasilievna Karchevskaya in 1881. Together, they had five children: Wirchik, Vladimir, Victor, Vsevolod, and Vera. In their early years, Pavlov and his wife lived in poverty. During the hard times, they stayed with friends, and at one point, rented a bug-infested attic space.

Pavlov’s fortunes changed in 1890 when he took an appointment as the Professor of Pharmacology at the Military Medical Academy. That same year, he became the director of the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Experimental Medicine. With these well-funded academic positions, Pavlov had the opportunity to further pursue the scientific studies that interested him.

Research on Digestion

Pavlov’s early research focused primarily on the physiology of digestion. He used surgical methods to study various processes of the digestive system. By exposing portions of a dog’s intestinal canal during surgery, he was able to gain an understanding of gastric secretions and the role of the body and mind in the digestive process. Pavlov sometimes operated on live animals, which was an acceptable practice back then but would not occur today due to modern ethical standards.

In 1897, Pavlov published his findings in a book called “Lectures on the Work of the Digestive Glands.” His work on the physiology of digestion was also recognized with a Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1904. Some of Pavlov’s other honors include an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University, which was awarded in 1912, and the Order of the Legion of Honor, which was given to him in 1915.

Discovery of Conditioned Reflexes

Although Pavlov has many notable accomplishments, he is most well known for defining the concept of conditioned reflexes. 

A conditioned reflex is considered a form of learning that can occur through exposure to stimuli. Pavlov studied this phenomenon in the lab through a series of experiments with dogs. Initially, Pavlov was studying the connection between salivation and feeding. He proved that dogs have an unconditioned response when they are fed — in other words, they are hard-wired to salivate at the prospect of eating.

However, when Pavlov noticed that the mere sight of a person in a lab coat was enough to cause the dogs to salivate, he realized that he had accidentally made an additional scientific discovery. The dogs had learned that a lab coat meant food, and in response, they salivated every time they saw a lab assistant. In other words, the dogs had been conditioned to respond a certain way. From this point on, Pavlov decided to devote himself to the study of conditioning.

Pavlov tested his theories in the lab using a variety of neural stimuli. For example, he used electric shocks, a buzzer that produced specific tones and the ticking of a metronome to make the dogs associate certain noises and stimuli with food. He found that not only could he cause a conditioned response (salivation), he could also break the association if he made these same noises but did not give the dogs food.

Even though he was not a psychologist, Pavlov suspected that his findings could be applied to humans as well. He believed that a conditioned response may be causing certain behaviors in people with psychological problems and that these responses could be unlearned. Other scientists, such as John B. Watson, proved this theory correct when they were able to replicate Pavlov’s research with humans. 


Pavlov worked in the lab until his death at the age of 86. He died on February 27, 1936, in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia after contracting double pneumonia. His death was commemorated with a grand funeral and a monument that was erected in his home country in his honor. His laboratory was also turned into a museum.

Legacy and Impact

Pavlov was a physiologist, but his legacy is primarily recognized in psychology and educational theory. By proving the existence of conditioned and non-conditioned reflexes, Pavlov provided a foundation for the study of behaviorism. Many renowned psychologists, including John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner, were inspired by his work and built on it to gain a better understanding of behavior and learning.

To this day, nearly every student of psychology studies Pavlov’s experiments to gain a better understanding of the scientific method, experimental psychology, conditioning, and behavioral theory. Pavlov’s legacy can also be seen in popular culture in books like Aldous Huxley’s «Brave New World», which contained elements of Pavlovian conditioning.


  • Cavendish, Richard. “Death of Ivan Pavlov.” History Today.
  • Gantt, W. Horsley. “Ivan Petrovich Pavlov.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 20 Feb. 2018.
  • McLeod, Saul. “Pavlov’s Dogs.” Simply Psychology, 2013.
  • Tallis, Raymond. “The Life of Ivan Pavlov.” The Wall Street Journal, 14 Nov. 2014.
  • “Ivan Pavlov — Biographical.” Nobelprize.org.
  • “Ivan Pavlov.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service.
In full:
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov
September 14 [September 26, New Style], 1849, Ryazan, Russia
February 27, 1936, Leningrad [now St. Petersburg] (aged 86)

Top Questions

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Ivan Pavlov (born September 14 [September 26, New Style], 1849, Ryazan, Russia—died February 27, 1936, Leningrad [now St. Petersburg]) Russian physiologist known chiefly for his development of the concept of the conditioned reflex. In a now-classic experiment, he trained a hungry dog to salivate at the sound of a metronome or buzzer, which was previously associated with the sight of food. He developed a similar conceptual approach, emphasizing the importance of conditioning, in his pioneering studies relating human behaviour to the nervous system. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his work on digestive secretions.


Pavlov, the first son of a priest and the grandson of a sexton, spent his youth in Ryazan in central Russia. There, he attended a church school and theological seminary, where his seminary teachers impressed him by their devotion to imparting knowledge. In 1870 he abandoned his theological studies to enter the University of St. Petersburg, where he studied chemistry and physiology. After receiving the M.D. at the Imperial Medical Academy in St. Petersburg (graduating in 1879 and completing his dissertation in 1883), he studied during 1884–86 in Germany under the direction of the cardiovascular physiologist Carl Ludwig (in Leipzig) and the gastrointestinal physiologist Rudolf Heidenhain (in Breslau).

Having worked with Ludwig, Pavlov’s first independent research was on the physiology of the circulatory system. From 1888 to 1890, in the laboratory of Botkin in St. Petersburg, he investigated cardiac physiology and the regulation of blood pressure.

He became so skillful a surgeon that he was able to introduce a catheter into the femoral artery of a dog almost painlessly without anesthesia and to record the influence on blood pressure of various pharmacological and emotional stimuli. By careful dissection of the fine cardiac nerves, he was able to demonstrate the control of the strength of the heartbeat by nerves leaving the cardiac plexus; by stimulating the severed ends of the cervical nerves, he showed the effects of the right and left vagal nerves on the heart.

Michael Faraday (L) English physicist and chemist (electromagnetism) and John Frederic Daniell (R) British chemist and meteorologist who invented the Daniell cell.

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Faces of Science

Pavlov married a pedagogical student in 1881, a friend of the author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but he was so impoverished that at first they had to live separately. He attributed much of his eventual success to his wife, a domestic, religious, and literary woman, who devoted her life to his comfort and work. In 1890 he became professor of physiology in the Imperial Medical Academy, where he remained until his resignation in 1924. At the newly founded Institute of Experimental Medicine, he initiated precise surgical procedures for animals, with strict attention to their postoperative care and facilities for the maintenance of their health.

During the years 1890–1900 especially, and to a lesser extent until about 1930, Pavlov studied the secretory activity of digestion. While working with Heidenhain, he had devised an operation to prepare a miniature stomach, or pouch; he isolated the stomach from ingested foods, while preserving its vagal nerve supply. The surgical procedure enabled him to study the gastrointestinal secretions in a normal animal over its life span. This work culminated in his book Lectures on the Work of the Digestive Glands in 1897.

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Laws of conditioned reflex

By observing irregularities of secretions in normal unanesthetized animals, Pavlov was led to formulate the laws of the conditioned reflex, a subject that occupied his attention from about 1898 until 1930. He used the salivary secretion as a quantitative measure of the psychical, or subjective, activity of the animal, in order to emphasize the advantage of objective, physiological measures of mental phenomena and higher nervous activity. He sought analogies between the conditional (commonly though incorrectly translated as “conditioned”) reflex and the spinal reflex.

According to the English physiologist Sir Charles Sherrington, the spinal reflex is composed of integrated actions of the nervous system involving such complex components as the excitation and inhibition of many nerves, induction (i.e., the increase or decrease of inhibition brought on by previous excitation), and the irradiation of nerve impulses to many nerve centres. To these components, Pavlov added cortical and subcortical influences, the mosaic action of the brain, the effect of sleep on the spread of inhibition, and the origin of neurotic disturbances principally through a collision, or conflict, between cortical excitation and inhibition.

Beginning about 1930, Pavlov tried to apply his laws to the explanation of human psychoses. He assumed that the excessive inhibition characteristic of a psychotic person was a protective mechanism—shutting out the external world—in that it excluded injurious stimuli that had previously caused extreme excitation. In Russia this idea became the basis for treating psychiatric patients in quiet and nonstimulating external surroundings. During this period Pavlov announced the important principle of the language function in human beings as based on long chains of conditioned reflexes involving words. The function of language involves not only words, he held, but an elaboration of generalizations not possible in animals lower than humans.

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