Keywords: nervous system, reflex, physiology of higher nervous activity, consciousness, method of conditioned reflexes


The purpose of our research consists in objectively to define the main stages of formation of physiology of higher nervous activity as sciences and to highlight a contribution to development of this industry of knowledge of certain scientists, in particular little-known scientists. The definite purpose is achieved by definition of the following tasks: analyze literature and systematize the development of physiology of the highest nervous activity given about the main stages as separate industry of knowledge; disclose value of scientific researches and developments of certain researchers for further formation of physiology of higher nervous activity. The following methods of a research were applied to a solution of objectives: comparative-historical, problem and chronological, descriptive, logiko-analytical, a method of a periodization and personalization which allowed to analyze objectively materials and publications about the directions of scientific research in the field of physiology of higher nervous activity and to define value of scientific heritage of individuals. The article states that the emergence of the science of the physiology of nervous activity was preceded by brilliant ideas, guesses and experimental research, from the ancient epoch up to the XIX century. The psyche of man has long been the subject of a special science of psychology. Irrespective of Bella the French physiologist F. Mazhandi came to the same conclusion. Some researchers, on the basis of advances in the study of reflex mechanisms of the activity of the spinal and lower parts of the brain, suggested assumptions about the reflexive principle of the work of its higher departments. For the first time on the reflex nature of nervous activity pointed out back in the XVII century French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes. Therefore, the scientist is considered the founder of neurophysiology, since it is he who discovered the reflex principle of functioning of the organism. In Europe in the XVIII century, the theory of "animal electricity" (L. Galvani) emerged, which grew into one of the leading sections of modern science - electrophysiology. Get further development of the principle of reflex activity (V. Prohaska). The discovery in the field of anatomy of the spinal cord, made in the nineteenth century, further strengthens the doctrine of reflexes. English neurologist C. Bell has established the difference in the function of the posterior and anterior spinal cord roots. Due to this discovery a rather speculative idea of the reflex turned into a natural and scientific fact. Regardless of Bella, to the same conclusion was the French physiologist F. Mazhandi. The transition of pulses from the posterior at the front of the spinal cord was called the Bella-Mazhandi law. Thus, the idea of reflex was for the first time given an uncontested anatomical confirmation. An outstanding role in the study of brain functions belongs to I.M. Sechenov (1829-1905), who in 1862 discovered the phenomenon of inhibition in the central nervous system, which largely determined the further success of the coordination of studies of reflex activity. The ideas outlined by I.M.Sechenov in the book “Reflexes of the Brain” (1863), defined that psychological phenomena were attributed to reflex acts, introduced new concepts in the mechanisms of brain activity, and outlined fundamentally new approaches to its further research. At the same time the scientist emphasized the defining role of the external environment in reflex activity of a brain. On a qualitatively new level, he derived the theory of reflex activity of the brain V.P. Pavlov (1849-1936), creating the doctrine of higher nervous activity (behavior) of humans and animals, its physiology and pathology. V.P. Pavlov founded a school of domestic physiologists, who made an outstanding contribution to world science.


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Author Biographies

Nataliya Godun

Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate
professor of the Department of Medico-biological
disciplines and Valueology,
Researcher ID: W-5190-2018
Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi Hryhorii Skovoroda
State Pedagogical University, 30,
Sukhomlynsky Str., Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi,
Kyiv region, Ukraine, 08401

Oksana Мyzdrenko

Candidate of Historical Sciences, senior lector
of the Department of Medico-biological
disciplines and Valueology
Researcher ID: W-5172-2018
Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi Hryhorii Skovoroda
State Pedagogical University, 30,
Sukhomlynsky Str.,
Kyiv region, Ukraine, 08401

How to Cite
Godun, N., & МyzdrenkoO. (2019). FORMATION OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIELD OF PHYSIOLOGY OF HIGHER NERVOUS ACTIVITY. Scientific Notes on Ukrainian History, (45), 150-159.