[IVAN PAVLOV – LIFETIME EDITION] Proba fiziologicheskogo ponimaniya simptomologii isterii [i.e. An Attempt to Understand the Symptoms of Hysteria from Physiological Point of View]
Leningrad: izd. i tip. Akad. nauk, 1932. Item #980
36 pp. 17x13 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Fine.
First edition. Very rare. With the dedication leaf: “Dedicated to the deeply respected comrade Alexei Vasilyevich Martynov on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of his outstanding scientific, teaching and practical work from the grateful author”. Martynov (1868-1934) was a noted Russian surgeon and head of the Surgical Clinic of the Moscow University. A friend of Pavlov, he successfully operated on Ivan who was struggling from gallstone disease in 1927.
AN INTERESTING WORK ABOUT HYSTERIA WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE GREATEST PHYSIOLOGISTS OF ALL TIME, IVAN PAVLOV (1849-1936).
The study presented in this book is based upon the concept of the conditioned reflexes developed by Ivan Pavlov and up to date considered his greatest achievement.
In the early 20th century, the scientist examined the activity of the salivary glands in dogs. After a series of experiments, Pavlov discovered that the animals could get so accustomed to associating a bell with food that they salivated when the buzzer was sounded, even though no food was present. The scientist termed the phenomenon conditioned reflexes - an acquired response in which the subject learns to associate a previously unrelated neutral stimulus (bell) with a different stimulus (food) that elicits some kind of reaction (salivation).
Following Leningrad’s devastating flood in 1924, Pavlov noticed that the animals that he used for experiments on conditioned reflexes began to show anxiety and fear. This sparked his interest regarding the treatment of neurosis in traumatized human behavior. Based on the concept of the conditioned reflexes, Pavlov argued that abnormal human activity was the product of the interplay between the individual’s first and secondary signaling system and the environment. According to Pavlov, hysteria resulted from a nervous system too weak to guide individuals through their environment and produce a proper response to the conditioned reflexes (due to the association of external stimuli with a harmful event).
Published in 1932 this work went down in history as the first publication providing a detailed insight into Pavlov’s study of hysteria. The edition consists of two sections. While the first section showcases a physiological overview of the phenomenon of the conditioned reflexes, the second section extends upon hysteria and describes the relationship between the psychological category and the conditioned reflexes. Overall, the first-hand account serves as an important contribution towards understanding how one of the most important discoveries in the history of psychology was made.