10 December 1999
PAVLOV, Ivan Petrovich (1849-1936). Lektsii o rabote glavnykh pishchevaritel'nykh zhelez [Lectures on the work of the principal digestive glands]. St. Petersburg: I. N. Kushnereff for the Ministry of Communications, 1897.
8o (184 x 131 mm). 16 wood-engrvaed text diagrams. Last two leaves containing a list of works by the author and his colleagues. (Light uniform discoloration, slight marginal soiling to title and first few leaves.) 20th-century buckram-backed boards,?earlier cloth corners (extremities rubbed, upper inner hinge split, acidic endleaves browned.) Provenance: Meir Ilyich Goldstein (AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION ON TITLE: "With best respects to Meir Ilyich Goldstein the author").
RARE PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION OF THE CONDITIONED REFLEX, "perhaps the greatest contribution to our knowledge of the physiology of digestion". Although not the first to observe that the sight of food produces a flow of gastric juices in mammals, Pavlov was the first to be able, thanks to his skill as a a surgeon, to observe the process in its entirety. A series of experiments led him to the discovery that the effects of feeding are transmitted to the gastric glands by nervous channels, so that gastric juice can be made to flow from the glands even when no food enters the stomach. He called this phenomenon "psychic secretion". For this discovery Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1904. In his later research Pavlov investigated behavior and the functioning of the brain. He had noted that his laboratory dogs would salivate simply at the approach of the experimentor, or in response to other stimuli not directly caused by the proximity of food. From this he developed the concept of the "conditioned reflex," first announced in 1903, and discussed in his Nobel Pize lecture. Because of the wide-ranging significance of this discovery, Pavlov came mistakenly to be regarded as "a mechanist who saw complex behavior as the sum of individual conditioned reflexes. This is a profound error" (DSB).
PRESENTATION COPIES OF PAVLOV'S PRIZE-WINNING WORK ARE EXTREMELY RARE. Only one, inscribed to Katerina Vissarionovna Slanska, has appeared at auction in recent years (Christie's London, 17 July 1985, lot 177, 12,000). Garrison-Morton 1022; Grolier/Horblit 83; Grolier Medicine 85; PMM 385.
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