Vladimir Bekhterev bigraphy, stories - Psychologists

Vladimir Bekhterev : biography

January 24, 1857 - December 24, 1927

Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev (Bechterev) ( January 20, 1857 – December 24, 1927) was a Russian neurologist and the father of objective psychology. He is best known for noting the role of the hippocampus in memory, his study of reflexes, and Bekhterev’s disease. Moreover, he is known for his competition with Ivan Pavlov regarding the study of conditioned reflexes. He coined the term "invasion of the psyche" in the field of hypnosis, was a teacher for the officers of the NKVD (KGB).["Гипноз. Внушение. Телепатия (Монография)", В. М. Бехтерев, издательство "Мысль", г. Москва, 1994 г. ISBN 5-244-00549-9]

His publications

  • "Гипноз. Внушение. Телепатия (Монография)", В. М. Бехтерев, издательство "Мысль", г. Москва, 1994 г. ISBN 5-244-00549-9

Overview of general findings

  • Parts of the Brain:
  • Bekhterev’s Acromial Reflex: a deep muscle reflex
  • Bekhterev’s Disease: An autoimmune disease characterized by arthritis, inflammation, and eventual immobility of joints
  • Bekhterev’s Nucleus: The superior nucleus of the vestibular nerve
  • Bekhterev’s Nystagmus: Nystagmus that develops after the destruction of the canals of the inner ear
  • Bekhterev’s Pactoralis Reflex: A reflex that extends the Pectoralis major muscle
  • Bekhterev’s Reflex: Three reflexes described by Bekhterev concerning the eye, face and abdominal muscles
  • Bekhterev’s Reflex I: Dilatation of the pupil upon exposure to light
  • Bekhterev’s Reflex II: Scapulohumeral reflex
  • Bekhterev’s Reflex of Eye: Areflex of the contraction of the M. orbicularis oculi
  • Bekhterev’s Reflex of Hand: The hand-flexor phenomena
  • Bekhterev’s Reflex of the Heel: Toe-flexion reflex
  • Bekhterev-Jacobsohn reflex: A finger flexion reflex which corresponds with the Bekhterev-Mendel foot reflex

Other Accomplishments:

  • Bekhterev’s Nucleus (Superior vestibular nucleus)
  • Bekhterev’s Disease: Numbness of the spine
  • Over 800 publications
  • Reflexology: objective study of human behavior that studies the relationship between environmental stimuli and overt behavior
  • Bekhterev’s Mixture: a medicine with a sedative effect.


Contribution to neurology

Throughout his career, Bekhterev conducted a large amount of research which greatly contributed to the current understanding of the brain. This research was described in works such as The Conduction Paths in the Brain and Spinal Cord, written in 1882, followed by a second edition written in 1896. In 1884 he published 58 scientific works about the functions of the brain. His extensive research led to an 18 month travel scholarship awarded to study and conduct research in both Germany and Paris. On this trip he worked with and learned from a variety of notable contributors the field of science such as Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920), Paul Emil Flechsig (1847–1929), Theodor Meynert (1833–1892), Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833–1890), Emil du Bois-Reymond (1818–1896), and Jean Martin Charcot (1825–1893). Bekhterev's scholarship lasted until September 1885, after which, he returned to Russia and worked as the head of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Kazan until 1893.

During his time at the University of Kazan, Bekhterev made some of his greatest contributions to neurological science. He established the first laboratory of experimental psychology in Russia in 1886 to study the nervous system and the structures of the brain. As a result of his research, Bekhterev believed that there were zones within the brain and each of these zones had a specific function. Moreover, because nervous disorders and mental disorders usually occur in conjunction with each other, he believed that there was no definite distinction between these disorders. When conducting research at the University of Kazan, Bekhterev also identified Ankylosing Spondylitis or Bekhterev’s disease (more frequently spelled in English as Bechterew’s disease, following the German transliteration system for Russian names), a degenerative arthritis of the spine. As a result of his groundbreaking research, in 1891, Bekhterev was granted permission by the Kazan government to open and become the chairman of the Neurology Science Society.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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