In 1863, Russian physiologist Ivan Mikhailovich Sechenov put forward the idea of the reflex nature of mental activity: “All acts of conscious and unconscious life by way of origin are reflexes.” Subsequently, this idea was developed by Ivan Petrovich Pavlov before the doctrine of higher nervous activity.
This is a theory about the mechanisms of the brain, about the activity of the cerebral cortex, which ensures the adaptation of higher animals and humans to the environment. Congenital reflexes are called unconditioned, and reflexes acquired during life are called conditional.
The provisions of reflex theory developed by I.M.Sechenov. IP Pavlov and are the scientific and theoretical basis of physiology and psychology. These provisions find their creative development in the research of domestic physiologists and psychologists.
Reflex theory, recognizing the reflex essence of the nervous system, is based on three main principles:
1) the principle of causality
2) the principle of structurality;
3) the principle of analysis and synthesis.
The causality principle means that every nervous process in the brain is caused (caused) by the action of certain stimuli.
The principle of structurality lies in the fact that differences in the functions of different departments of the nervous system depend on the features of their structure, and a change in the structure of the departments of the nervous system in the development process is caused by a change in functions. So, in animals that do not have a brain, higher nervous activity is much more primitive than the higher nervous activity of animals that have a brain. In the course of historical development, a person’s brain has reached a particularly complex structure and perfection, which is associated with his working life and social conditions of life, requiring constant verbal communication.
The principle of analysis and synthesis is expressed in the following. When centripetal impulses enter the central nervous system, excitation occurs in some neurons, inhibition occurs in others, i.e., physiological analysis occurs. The result is a distinction between specific objects and phenomena of reality and processes occurring within the body.
At the same time, with the formation of a conditioned reflex, a temporary nervous connection (closure) is established between two foci of excitation, which physiologically expresses synthesis. The conditioned reflex is the unity of analysis and synthesis.
The conditioned reflex is a key concept in the study of higher nervous activity.
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