Pavlov’s “higher nervous activity”
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The term higher nervous activity was introduced by Pavlov about 1909 to replace what he previously called “psychical” or “mental.” In Russia “higher nervous activity” is now used for what we often designate as psychophysiological or psychosomatic. “Higher nervous activity” was not a synonym in Pavlov’s use for psychical or mental; it indicates what physiology can deal with and measure as opposed to our subjective feelings and representations. The philosophical differences underlying Pavlov’s concepts, as well as the philosophical basis for distinguishing between what we measure physically and the subjective correlates, are discussed.
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