ISSN 2409-5834

Inhibition – an attributive function of the nervous system: from Hippocrates to I.M. Sechenov

Main Article Content

Georgy Kh. Shingarov , Irina G. Tatarovskaya


The article demonstrates that inhibition is an attributive function of the nervous system. It notes that the idea of inhibition was first put forward by Hippocrates. The authors cite key aspects of Galen’s ideas about excitation and inhibition. Descartes’ views are analysed. The authors point out that the concept of “reflex” in the contemporary sense in the 18th century was introduced by Astruc. The Weber brothers’ discovery of the inhibitory action of the vagus nerve on the heart in 1545 is considered the discovery of peripheral inhibition. The article stresses that I.M. Sechenov employed an original experimental method during his discovery of central inhibition in 1862. In his “Reflexes of the Brain”, he demonstrated that reflexes underlie mental activity. Sechenov’s approach to the problems of the theory of cognition, which distinguishes him as a philosopher, is analysed.

Article Details