Ivan Petrovich Pavlov died in 1936. His students had to continue to develop physiological science. Leon Abgarovich Orbeli becomes the head of two of Pavlov’s largest scientific centers — the Physiological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences and the Physiological Department of the Institute of Experimental Medicine with a Biostation in Koltushi.
A year later Orbeli transferred the head of the Physiological Department to P. S. Kupalov, one of the oldest employees of I.P. Pavlova and he himself transfers all his work on IEM to the Biostation in Koltushi. Orbeli also transferred the Department of Evolutionary Physiology created by him there. So at the Physiological Institute and at the IEM Biostation two powerful scientific schools merged — Pavlova and Orbeli.
At the Physiological Institute the development of questions of the physiology of higher nervous activity continued using the classical method of conditioned reflexes under the leadership of V.V. Stroganov. At the same time Orbeli and his collaborators made extensive use of a rich arsenal of other physiological research methods. The electrophysiological method of studying the functions of the nervous system was successfully used. Research on the sense organs, nutritional physiology, and the endocrine system was progressing well. The function of autonomic nerve centers was studied in the laboratory of A.V. Tonkih. The functional properties of the neuromuscular device at various stages of evolution were intensively studied by A.G. Ginetsinsky. The evolution of enzyme systems was studied in the laboratory of E.M. Kreps. E.A. Moiseev clarified the relationship between microstructure and function. This comprehensive approach to higher nervous activity made it possible for Orbeli and his collaborators to understand many previously unclear aspects.
At 1939 it became clear that the Biostation needed to be separated from the Institute of Experimental Medicine due to the scale of the work carried out there. This is how the Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Pathology of Higher Nervous Activity named after V.I. I.P. Pavlov in Koltushi, which later became part of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
In Koltushi, genetic research developed. First of all, the issue of the transition of conditioned reflexes to unconditioned, which was still very worried about Pavlov. E.A. Ganicke developed a very sophisticated technique for studying conditioned reflex activity in mice. In addition, R.A. Masing, who studied the inheritance of behavior in insects on the classic object of genetics — the fruit fly.
The evolutionary study of higher nervous activity has expanded. First, through the efforts of Yu.A. Vasiliev, and then the talented ornithologist A.N. Promtov, the direction of studying the higher nervous activity of birds developed. Investigated at the new institute and the behavior of insects — S.I. Malyshev and in subsequent years JI.E. Ahrens. Under the leadership of M.K. Petrova at the institute studied the role of the cerebral cortex in the occurrence of pathological processes.
In addition, human physiology was studied in Koltushi. The institute included a special laboratory whose task was to study the higher nervous activity of a person, as well as two clinics — nervous diseases and a psychiatric one.