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 (189 x 135 mm). 16 wood-engraved text diagrams, last two leaves listing works by the author and his colleagues. (Some light browning, minor dampstaining at end.) ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS (light chipping and splitting to spine and edges, some light staining). Provenance: signature on upper wrapper and title; anonymous owner (Christie's, London, 10 March 1982, lot 71).
FIRST EDITION OF "PERHAPS THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE PHYSIOLOGY OF DIGESTION" (Garrison-Morton), containing the first demonstration of what Pavlov later named the "conditioned reflex." Pavlov was the first to successfully devise a method of studying the physiology of digestion in healthy animals. In 1852, Friedrich Bidder and Carl Schmidt had observed that the sight of food produced a flow of gastric juices in a dog, but Pavlov was the first researcher to observe the process in its entirety and to do so without injury to the animal subject. A skilled surgeon, Pavlov "was successful in producing gastric fistulas without damaging the nerve supply and was also able to create fistulas in the salivary glands, pancreas and intestines. More importantly, he was able to restore his experimental animals postoperatively to a nearly normal state, and this enabled him to observe them over long periods, in keeping with his dictum that organs, and indeed the entire organism, must be studied under natural conditions. Through various experiments, Pavlov was able to demonstrate that the effects of feeding were transmitted to the gastric glands by nervous channels, so that gastric juice could be made to flow from the gastric glands even when food was prevented from entering the stomach. He called the flow of gastric juice that occurred without the actual ingestion of food... 'psychic secretion'" (Grolier Medicine). Pavlov's later investigation of this phenomenon, pursued in the context of his studies of behavior and of the physiology of the brain, led him to develop the concept of the "conditioned reflex," which he applied to glandular activity that is initiated in response to environmental stimuli in contrast to the "unconditioned reflex" of internally activated processes like digestion. For his work in the physiology of digestion Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1904. Because of the wide-ranging significance of his discovery of the conditioned reflex, in recent years Pavlov "has come to be regarded as a mechanist who saw complex behavior as the sum of individual conditioned reflexes. This is a profound error, since in Pavlov's view the brain, through its capacity for subtle analysis and complex synthesis, integrates a vast range of conditioned reflexes into coherent behavior corresponding to the specific circumstances and needs of the organism" (DSB). Garrison-Morton 1022; Grolier/Horblit 83; Grolier Medicine 85; PMM 385.