Asratian, Ezras Asratovich
Born May 18 (31), 1903, in the village of Metsik in Turkish Armenia. Soviet physiologist. Student of I. P. Pavlov. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939) and academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR (1947). Member of the CPSU since 1929.
In 1930, Asratian graduated from the medical department of the University of Yerevan. From 1930 to 1941 he worked at the Physiological Institute (Leningrad). From 1941 to 1943 he was professor at the Tashkent Medical Institute. From 1944 on he worked at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR: from 1944 to 1950 he was director of the Laboratory for the Restoration of the Functions of the Nervous System; from 1950 to 1952 he was director of the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity; in 1952 he became head of the Physiological Laboratory and in 1960, director of the Institute of HigherNervousActivity and Neurophysiology. Asratian’s theory of the adaptability of the nervous system sheds light on the mechanism of regenerative phenomena in a damaged organism and the decisive role in this context of the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres. Asratian used Pavlov’s concept of the protective role of inhibition as the basis for methods of treating traumatic shock and the effects of certain kinds of organic brain damage. He developed the notions of the morphological and functional multilevels of the unconditioned reflexes; of tonic, or attitudinal conditioned reflexes; of the mechanisms of switching in higher nervous activity; and so on. He received the I. P. Pavlov Prize (1951) and the I. P. Pavlov gold medal (1963). He has been awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and a medal.