Pavlov’s fundamental theory of higher nervous activity concerns the adaptation to changing external environments of organisms such as dogs, apes, and humans. In the 1920s, Pavlov and his disciples used laboratory experimentation to study the etiology and therapy of neuroses In human beings and other species. Later, In the 1930s, Pavlov devoted much time and effort to the systematic study of psychopathology In clinical settings. Psychopathology and Psychiatry is Pavlov’s little-known series of descriptions of these experiments and findings.
Pavlov used two fundamental approaches In the study of neuroses and psychoses: the conditioned salivary reflex method, with dogs as subjects; and the observation of neurotic and psychotic behavior In humans. Pavlov was primarily Interested In how the cortex worked to facilitate the orgaftilsm's adaptation to the external environment. The conditioned reflex findings were explained In terms of hypothetical physiological processes. Pavlov was certain that dogs’ Inability to adapt flexibly was the result of conflicts and traumatic experiences. Soon thereafter, he linked these discoveries to actual human cases of neuroses and psychoses. These are covered In this volume.
In a new introduction to this classic text, George Windholz traces Pavlov’s scholarly and scientific life, highlighting his various studies and results under stressful political and pedagogical conditions. Psychopathology and Psychiatry continues to be a highly significant work of scientific study. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and behavioral researchers of all professional persuasions will find this work to be essential reading.