Vvedenskii, Nikolai Evgenevich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vvedenskii, Nikolai Evgen’evich


Born Apr. 16 (28), 1852, in the village of Kochkovo, Vologda Province; died Sept. 16, 1922, in Kochkovo. Russian physiologist; pupil of I. M. Sechenov. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1909).

After graduating from the Vologda Theological Seminary, Vvedenskii entered the University of St. Petersburg (1872). In 1874 he was arrested for participation in student revolutionary circles and “going to the people.” Vvedenskii was prosecuted according to the “case of the 193” and imprisoned for over three years. He graduated from the university in 1879. He worked in physiology laboratories in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (1881-82, 1884, 1887). In 1884 he became an assistant professor, in 1889 (after Sechenov’s transfer to Moscow), professor extraordinary, and in 1895 staff professor at the University of St. Petersburg.

Vvedenskii’s research was devoted to revealing the principles of the reactions of living tissues to various stimuli. Applying the method of telephonic auscultation of an excited nerve, Vvedenskii showed that a living system changes not only under the influence of irritants but also in the very process of activity; by that alone he was the first to introduce the concept of the time factor in physiology. In his master’s dissertation, Telephonic Research on Electrical Phenomena in Muscle and Nerve Apparatus (1884), Vvedenskii analyzed the periodicity of muscular contraction and fatiguability of the nerve. In his doctoral dissertation, On the Relationship Between Stimulation and Excitation in Tetanus (1886), he formulated the doctrine of the optimum and pessimum of stimulation, on the basis of which he established the law of relative functional mobility (lability) of tissues. Vvedenskii regarded a neuromuscular specimen as a heterogeneous formation (consisting of a nerve fiber, nerve endings, and muscle) whose parts have varying lability. The apex of Vvedenskii’s creative work is his doctrine of parabiosis, developed in the monograph Excitation, Inhibition, and Narcosis (1901), in which he generalized his notions of the nature of the processes of excitation and inhibition, showing their unity. Vvedenskii was a representative of the advanced materialist school of physiology. His work fostered the development of physiology and medicine.


Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1-7. Leningrad, 1951-63.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.