Pavlov’s Dog

Photo courtesy of Molly Lindsey

             

Who Is Pavlov’s Dog?

For starters, do you know about Pavlov?  Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849 – 1936) was a Russian born physiologist known for his work in classical conditioning. His work has greatly influenced our understanding of human behavior and learning processes, and he continues to influence the formation of modern behavior therapy.

His contributions have influenced a broad spectrum of fields, from psychology and physiology, to medicine and philosophy, but in popular culture he is well known for his “conditioned reflex” experiments with dogs. Various stimuli would be presented as an antecedent to feeding time, and the dogs would then become conditioned to salivate upon the stimuli presented before food was actually presented.

Hence, the image (above) of my Australian Shepherd, Molly, licking her chops. All we have to do is mention “treat, snack, breakfast, lunch, or supper,” and she begins licking her lips. The other day it made me wonder who Pavlov’s dog was, but then I discovered, he had many dogs! Duh!

Oh well . . . Pavlov and Molly conspired to make me think about who Pavlov’s dog was, which inspired a poem. I hope you enjoy “Pavlov’s Dog.”

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