Pavlov’s Dog Background Information

What can a dog’s dinner teach us? Many students will have noticed their pet’s excited behavior around dinner time–but did they think that Fido’s or Gigi’s excitement had anything to do with science?  Pavlov’s Game connects everyday events to some of the scientific achievements of Ivan Pavlov, who was awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Even though the first image that comes to mind with Ivan Pavlov is his drooling dogs, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his pioneering studies of how the digestive system works.

Through the game, students will explore the following questions:

  • What’s a conditioned reflex?

  • What’s a stimulus?

  • How can you learn a conditioned reflex?

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