E.N. Sokolov, the founder of vector psychophysiology in Lomonosov Moscow State University

The website is dedicated to the outstanding Russian scientist with a worldwide reputation, a specialist in the field of cognitive psychophysiology and neuroscience E.N. Sokolov (1920-2008). E. N. Sokolov was the Doctor of Biological Sciences (1960), Professor Emeritus of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU, 1998), academician of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR (1984) and Russian Academy of Education (1993), foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (1975), honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1976), honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of Finland (1984), honorary member of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (I.O.P.) (1980) and the member of the Central Council of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO).

The name of E.N. Sokolov is closely linked to the development of a novel scientific direction at the MSU and international neuroscience – vector psychophysiology. Department of Psychophysiology, established in 1971 by E. N. Sokolov at the Faculty of Psychology, has now become one of the leading international scientific and pedagogical centers in the field of brain and mind research. Outstanding research of E.N. Sokolov made his name a symbol of the original scientific school, the international recognition of which was demonstrated by awarding E.N. Sokolov “Pavlov’s Gold Medal” for outstanding contribution to the development of the theory of reflex mechanisms of the brain” (1984), the special diploma of the American Association of Psychophysiological Research for outstanding contribution to psychophysiology (1988), as well as the highest award of the I.O.P.– “CENTURY AWARD - 1998”.

E.N. Sokolov is the author of more than 500 articles and 20 books translated into English, Spanish and Japanese. His last fundamental work “Essays on the Psychophysiology of consciousness” (2010) was translated into English and published by Oxford University Press (USA) as “Psychophysiology of Consciousness” (2013). E. N. Sokolov is the author and inspirer of a huge number of fundamental studies in the field of psychology and neurophysiology of mental processes and states, an active organizer of neuroscience in Russia and abroad. E.N. Sokolov is the founder of the original scientific direction in Russian and global psychophysiology - vector psychophysiology. In contrast to the traditional understanding of psychophysiology as the science of the physiological reactions of the body to external influences, E.N. Sokolov introduced and presented theoretical and experimental evidence of the position that psychophysiology was the science of neural mechanisms of mental processes and states. Methodological research strategy, proposed by E.N. Sokolov and successfully implemented under his leadership by his followers, can be represented in the form of “Man-Neuron-Model” approach. Multiyear (from 1950 up to now) psychophysiological studies of mental processes (perception, memory, attention, consciousness) and functional states (sleep/wakefulness, emotions), conducted under the guidance of E.N. Sokolov at the Faculties of Psychology and Biological of the MSU in humans and animals (mollusk, fish, frog, cat, rabbit, monkey), were devoted to the large-scale implementation of the interdisciplinary “Man-Neuron-Model” approach. In 1960, E.N. Sokolov lectured as a visiting professor at Stanford and California universities in the USA. In 2006, at the XIII International Congress on Psychophysiology in Turkey, the results of the scientific school led by E.N. Sokolov were presented at three symposia, specifically devoted to the “Man – Neuron - Model” approach. The collective monograph “Vector Psychophysiology: from Behavior to Neuron” (Moscow: MSU, 2019) presents the systematic meta-review of the main achievements of those multiyear complex studies.

E.N. Sokolov maintained close personal and scientific contacts with a number of legendary Russian and foreign scientists in the field of psychology, psychophysiology and neuroscience: S. L. Rubinstein, B.M. Teplov, S.V. Kravkov, A.L. Yarbus, P.K. Anokhin, E.A. Asratyan, A.N. Leontiev, A.R. Luria, P.Ya. Galperin, L.G. Voronin, P.V. Simonov, N.P. Bekhtereva, K. Pribram (USA), R. Naatanen (Finland), J. Delgado (Spain), H. Jasper (Canada), D. Lindsley (USA) etc.

In 2020, psychophysiologists and neuroscientists in Russia and abroad will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian scientist.