Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCA083

Poster Communications

Innovative Aspects of Scientific and Pedagogical Activity by I.P. Pavlov (according to "Pavlov's Wednesdays")

L. Chugunow1

1. Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.


Formation and development of Pavlov's scientific ideas (theory of reflexes and in particular the conditional reflex, theory of two signal systems, mechanisms of the higher nervous system) are traced in the historical objective material of Pavlov's school. One type of scientific and pedagogical activity of Pavlov's school was "Pavlov's Wednesdays". "Pavlov's Wednesdays" were the original document of a creative process of development of the theory of the higher nervous system. It is a profound series of recommendations for the introduction of scientific activities and represents a new organizational and pedagogical method, the method of "collective thinking" encouraged by I.P. Pavlov. Pavlov suggested for the first time his co-workers of all physiological laboratories to meet each Wednesday for a collective discussion about open questions in current experimental work and about coordination of subsequent steps in studies. This method of scientific work was not applied before Pavlov. It was recorded in three volumes of protocols and shorthand reports. Due to Pavlov there were two approaches how to present one's scientific work. The official approach was defined by publishing of articles, holding lectures and giving talks at congresses. In accordance with it, one should take into consideration each detail and wording. The inofficial approach addressed discussion of facts and thoughts between colleagues. It encouraged the expression of spontaneous thoughts and unconventional mental constructs. The inofficial approach of scientific creativity was defined as "collective thinking" and recorded in the minutes of "Pavlov's Wednesdays" at the physiological laboratory as well as in the minutes of "Pavlov's Clinical Wednesdays" at the clinic of neurology and psychiatry. The colleagues of I.P. Pavlov, students, physicians and foreign guests participated in the process of "collective thinking". Due to a systematic character of meetings the scientific team developed itself to the physiological scientific school at which Pavlov's Wednesdays played a significant role. During the meetings in the clinic of neurology and psychiatry as part of discussions clinical cases were analyzed from the physiological point of view. Thus, I.P. Pavlov explained series of neurological and psychiatric illnesses based on physiology. Additionally, principles of the neuronal processes of the cerebral cortex were studied and questions about the development of experimental neuroses by animals as well as the study of the second signal system were elaborated. I.P. Pavlov created the guidance for the connection of physiological theories with medical practice.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements