St. Petersburg: A. Golovachov, 1866. Item #2
, II, 186 pp. 8vo. Contemporary quarter-leather binding. The name of the author and the book title as well as owner’s initials in gilt on the spine. Owner’s private stamp on the title. Some side foxing on the first seven pages of the text and on the last five. The top of the spine has been restored. Overall copy is in good condition.
First edition of the ground-breaking work that established the basis of the Russian School of Physiology. Ivan Mikhailovich Sechenov (1829-1905) single-handedly created this field of Russian science, by introducing electrophysiology and neurophysiology into medical laboratories.
This is one of the main works by Sechenov. Originally an article with the same name was to be printed in Sovremennik, the most influential periodical of the time, but thst was forbidden by the censor, and it was published in 1863 in the medical journal, Meditsinsky vestnik. The expanded book version, now a classic text, appeared four years later. This work marked the beginning of the era of objective physiology. Sechenov demonstrated that since reflexes cannot occur without external stimuli, physiological activity is brought about by stimuli that act on the sense organs. He made a significant contribution to our knowledge of reflexes by determining that reflexes depend not only on current stimuli but also on past influences. Sechenov believed that the retention of vestiges in the central nervous system is the basis for memory; inhibition is the mechanism for the selective control of behavior; and the operation of the amplifying mechanism of the brain is the foundation for motivation.
Ivan Pavlov, the most famous of Sechenov’s pupils, called him “the father of Russian physiology”.