Vladimir Bekhterev

Vladimir Bekhterev (January 20, 1857December 24, 1927) was a Russian neurophysiologist and psychiatrist who noted the role of the hippocampus in memory around 1900. He founded the field of psycho reflexology, transferring Ivan Pavlov's work on dogs to humans. From his writings we can tell that he and Pavlov acted like enemies. He is most remembered for Bekhterev's disease.

In 1907 Bekhterev founded the PsychoNeurological Institute, later renamed the St. Petersburg State Medical Academy. He died in 1927, after an interview with Stalin, who presumably sought his expertise in dealing with depression. The facts of his death may never be known, but it has been speculated that the outspoken Bekhterev had diagnosed Stalin with paranoia, causing Stalin, who did not agree with the diagnosis, to have the doctor killed.

Bekhterev's son, engineer and inventor Pyotr Bekhterev, was executed during Stalin's purges. Pyotr's daughter Natalya Bekhtereva (1924-2008) founded the Human Brain Institute in Leningrad.


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