Lectures on the Work of the Principal Digestive Glands [in Russian]

Ivan Petrovitch PAVLOV

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PAVLOV, I.P. Lectures on the Work of the Principal Digestive Glands [in Russian]. Moscow: I.N. Kushnereff, 1897. Octavo, early three-quarter brown morocco, raised bands, patterned endpapers, uncut. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $16,800.

First edition of Pavlov's groundbreaking work, with far-ranging implications in the fields of both physiology and psychology, substantially responsible for him being awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1904.

"Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born at Ryazan, Russia, in 1849, and died in Leningrad in 1936. In 1875 he earned a degree in natural sciences from the University of St. Petersburg, where he developed an interest in physiology, and he obtained his medical degree at the Medical Military Academy in 1879. During the summer of 1877 he visited Rudolf Heidenhain's laboratory in Breslau, Germany (Now Wroclaw, Poland), where he became interested in the physiology of digestion, one of the three major areas of research (the others being the physiology of the circulation and the physiology of the brain) to which he made significant contributions.

In 1852 Friedrich Bidder and Carl Schmidt had shown that the sight of food produced a copious flow of gastric juice in a gastrostomized dog, and in 1878 Charles Robert Richet observed a similar reaction in a made with a strictured esophagus who had to be fed through a gastric fistula. Heidenhaim attempted to confirm these observations in 1880 by creating a gastric fistula in a dog; however, in doing so he damaged the nerve supply to the dog's stomach and was thus unable to complete the experiment. In his own researches on the physiology of digestion, Pavlov brought to the task great skill as a surgeon, as well as a method of long-term experiment that revolutionized the study of physiology. He 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 in their 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 in the stomach 'psychic secretion,' his name for glandular activity produced mentally rather than physiologically; this could be stopped either by severing both vagus nerves to the stomach or be removing the cerebral cortex of the animal.

Pavlov summarized his experiments in a series of lectures given in 1896 and published in Russian the following year. A German translation appeared in 1898 and an English one in 1902. For his work on the physiology of digestion Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904. In the interim, he had noted that his dogs ('Pavlov's dogs') learned the daily routine of the laboratory and would respond with secretion at the approach of the experimenter himself or in response to some other remote stimulus. This led him to formulate the concept of 'conditioned reflex'" (Norman, One Hundred Famous Books in Medicine 85). "The elaboration of these experiments and their extension to children demonstrated how great a proportion of human behavior is explicable as a series of conditioned reflexes. Indeed some psychologists seem nowadays to believe that behavior is all. Pavlov's results are, indeed, clearly complementary to those of Freud, and many regard them as of more fundamental significance. Like Freud's, this was the work of one man and a completely new departure" (PMM 385). "Pavlov made perhaps the greatest contribution to our knowledge of the physiology of digestion" (Garrison & Morton 1022). Text in Russian. Horblitt, One Hundred Famous Books in Science 83. With a photographic portrait of Pavlov laid in.

Interior generally fine, with inner paper hinges split at free endpapers. Binding handsome. Rare and important.

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