The term “active reflex” was coined by Joseph Knoll, in 1956 in the fifth part of his paper on “Experimental studies on the higher nervous activity of animals”, published in Acta Physiologica Hungarica. One year later, in 1957, in the sixth part of the same paper, he defined it as a conditioned motor chain reflex, analogues to conditioned chain reflexes developed by Frolov and Fursikov in Ivan Petrovich Pavlov’s laboratories, in which the conditional stimulus of a well established conditioned reflex served as an unconditional stimulus of the consecutive conditioned reflex in the chain (Ban 1964; Pavlov 1927). The properties of the “active reflex” were defined and presented in a monograph by Knoll (1969). A behavioral pharmacological test, with the capability to differentiate “tranquilizers” by their selectiveness of blocking the “active reflex” from known central nervous system depressants, like the barbiturates, was first published in 1958-1959 (Knoll and Knoll 1958, 1959).
Ban TA. Conditioning in Psychiatry. Chicago: Aldine; 1964, p.23.
Knoll J. Experimental studies on the higher nervous activity of animals. V. The functional mechanism of the active conditioned reflex. Acta Physiol Hung 1956; 10: 89-100.
Knoll J. Experimental studies on the higher nervous activity of animals. VI. Further studies on active reflexes. Acta Physiol Hung 1957; 12: 65-92.
Knoll J. The Theory of Active reflexes. An Analysis of Some Fundamental Mechanisms of Higher Nervous Activity. Budapest/NewYork: Publishing House of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences/ Hafner Publishing Company;1969.
Knoll J, Knoll B. Methode zur Untersuchung der spezifisch depressiven Wirkung von “Tranquilizern” auf das Zentralnervensystem I. Arzneimittel-Forschung 1958; 8: 330-3.
Knoll J, Knoll B. Methode zur Untersuchung der spezifisch depressiven Wirkung von “Tranquilizern” auf das Zentralnervensystem II. Arzneimittel-Forschung 1959; 9: 633-6.
Pavlov IP. Conditioned reflexes. (Translated from the Russian original into English by GV Anrep). Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1927.
March 20, 2014