Pavlov’s dog – what the experiment was about? Research on the conditioned reflex and other experiments
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov is a Russian physiologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1904. All thanks to a breakthrough discovery regarding the conditioned reflex. He laid the foundation for the theory of conditioning and made other discoveries that influenced the development of research on the digestive system.
Experiments on dogs allowed Pavlov to discover that giving animals food induced them to secrete saliva. Such a reaction was called an unconditioned reflex. Taking it a step further, Pavlov added a sound stimulus to food giving. Over time, he noticed that dogs identify a particular sound with food and salivate in response to the sound even when it is not accompanied by food. Research on the conditioned reflex, however, was not the only experiments Pavlov conducted on dogs.
Pavlov’s dog vs. conditioned and unconditioned reflexes
Ivan Pavlov conducted research on dogs, thanks to which he discovered the existence of the conditioned reflex. The conditioned reflex is a so-called acquired response (as opposed to the unconditioned reflex, whichóry is an automatic response to stimuli; examples of reflexesóin the unconditioned: vomiting reflex, pupillary reflex, knee reflex, grasping in a newborn, just drooling while eating). This reflex can be formed on the basis of the unconditioned reflex – Through regular, systematic repetition of a particular action and association of it with another. In the case of psóPavlov’s was the secretion of saliva at the sound of a doorbell. A reflex thatóry is formed on the basis of the unconditioned reflex, is also called Pavlov’s reflex or the classical conditioned reflex.
There is also the concept of instrumental conditioned reflex. In this case, the conditioned reflex can arise when it is not based on the unconditioned reflex. It has been discovered that a particular reaction of an object can be forced by habituation. For example, an animal thatóre is rewarded by food, it is more likely to perform the activity than an animal thatóre is punished for disobedience. Conditioning is the association of an action with another and awareness of the benefit.
Conditional reflexes do not apply only to animals, but also to humans. In everyday life, learned actions are performed. These include, for example. washing hands when returning home, locking the door when leaving or turning off the light. It is often the case that after performing these activities, people do not remember that they took place – it is dowód on the fact that they were made mechanically, in a manner ofób learned.
Pavlov’s dog – course of the experiment
During the experiment Pavlov used medical knowledge, któhe gained through years of education and professional practice. Here is how the researcher made specialized measurements of saliva secreted by dogs:
- During the experiment, Pavlov incised the mucous membranes of the ps thoroughlyóIn, and then introduced funnels into the canalóin the salivary glands.
- The salivary gland fistula was designed to collect saliva, która under natural circumstances would accumulate in a dog’s mouth.
- Saliva dripped into special containersów, thanks to whichórym Pavlov móhead measure the amount of fluid secretedów.
Treatment, który performed by the researcher was krótki and theoretically non-invasive for the dog. It turned out, however, that some dogsów objected to performing the procedure. Agitated dogs under the influence of emotion secrete more saliva than under normal conditions, and this may have influenced the falsification of the result of theóIn the experiment.
Pavlov’s dogs – other experiments on animals
OpróPavlov had previously conducted other experiments on dogs to study conditioned reflexes. Not all research carried out by the scientist took place without harming animals.
One of the first experimentsów, which Pavlov carried out, consisted of transferring acquired, human diseasesób on animals. This was to find a cure for human diseases. The scientist’s achievements include m.in. creation of a fistula in the stomach of the dog, intended to be a reproduction of a gunshot wound. Paul failed to achieve his goal and despite the prób trappingsóhe health of the animal, the dog suffered the effects of mutilation for the rest of its life.
Another example of Pavlov’s practices, whichóre caused permanent damage to the health of animals, were, for example. experiments on mózgu animals or placing permanent fistulas on the pancreas.