History

Gian Franco Goldwurm (Italy) [1]

THE CONCISE HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF CIANS [2]

To tell the history of Collegium Internationale Activitatis Nervosae Superioris (CIANS) is more difficult than I expected.
It’s a troubled history also because such was the history of our Countries and of ourselves during the second half of the last century.
Mine cannot be but a personal contribution of what I lived at that time.
I think that history must be interpreted from the present. And the present is what we are and what we want to be. Here is where I want to start from.
First, we would like to be an interdisciplinary space in which we can know, compare and discuss biological, physiological, neurological, psychiatric, psychological, educational and social problems. A space where we can focus our attention on the connection and the interdependence between behaviours, cognitions and emotions, the superior nervous functions, the somatic functions, as well as the impact of the natural and social environment the human beings live in.
Second, we would like to be an international space of connection and comparison not only of different disciplines but also of scholars from different countries.
Third, we would like to find important objects and stimulate the work on these crucial and significant points common to clinical and experimental studies.
Jagla (2003) for instance proposed two objectives, or wishes: “One is that our colleagues from clinical practice faced with the complexities of the integrative nervous functions would increase their interest for theoretical grounds of problems under study. The other concerns the experimental researchers. It will be very useful when they could more take in account the clinical aspects of brain integrations when planning the experimental studies. Both the above approaches could be more closely incorporated into the program of our Collegium”.
Jagla (2003) completes his thought as follow: “The underlying philosophy of CIANS is to promote the interdisciplinary scientific cooperation in the field of the experimental and clinical research and concerns the integrative functions of the brain, neurobiology of behaviour and psychosomatic relationship in health and disease.”

In practice the aims of CIANS as delineated in the statute and in the by-law, art. 2, are:

  1. to promote the interdisciplinary scientific meeting in the field of cognitive and behavioural sciences, psychology, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, biomedical sciences and other disciplines concerned with health and disease, emphasizing the role of integrative Higher Nervous Functions;
  2. to foster collaborative studies, both experimental and clinical, concerned with the development and integration of biological, psychological and social sciences relevant to treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of disease and disability, and to the promotion of health and quality of life;
  3. to spread knowledge of the impact of cognition, behaviour, life style, the stressful life events and other psychosomatic factors on health related quality of life;
  4. to foster the education of social and health care professionals, emphasizing integrative approaches to health promotion.

Then it comes who we are: we are a group of scholars of various disciplines who try to meet regularly, with good will but maybe little homogeneous and sometimes little organized though with the intent to stimulate in ourselves and in the congress we take part in, as this one, interdisciplinarity and integration on an international level.
A little group of scholars with a great history behind.
What unites us, and I am very proud of it, is the pavlovian origin that is in the name of the Collegium itself.
Our first President was a distinguished pupil of Pavlov: W. Horsley Gantt who was also the founder and first president of The Pavlovian Society of North America.
As regards our history we are proud to say that ‘it is the oldest international society in the field of behavioural neuroscience, integrative physiology and psychosomatic medicine’. Our Statute, amended in 1988 and accepted by postal ballot in 1989, declares at article 2 that ‘CIANS was organized in 1958 and formally founded in 1960’. I don’t possess any document about this.

The first mention regards 1959 and it’s contained in the journal Activitas Nervosa Superior of 1985 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CIANS: ‘For these reasons, in 1959 discussions were initiated regarding the possibilities for international cooperation in the study of higher nervous functions among the following scientific bodies’, five societies among which the Pavlovian Society of North America: Czechoslovak Society for Higher Nervous Activity; Japanese Society for the Study of Conditioned Reflexes (J. Neuroscience Soc.); I.P. Pavlov Physiological Society of the USSR Academy of Sciences; The Pavlovian Committee (GDR Neuroscience Society).
Ruttkay Nedecký (2000) says that in 1959 was founded in Czechoslovakia the ‘Society for the Study of Higher Nervous Activity’.

 Figure 1 – W. Horsley Gantt, M.D. (1892-1980), the first president of CIANS

Figure 1 – W. Horsley Gantt, M.D.
(1892-1980), the first president of CIANS

 Figure 2 – Credit of  The Pavlovian Society

Figure 2 – Credit of  The Pavlovian Society

Figure 3 – Cover of Activitas Nervosa Superior, vol. 27, Dic. 1985.

Figure 3 – Cover of Activitas
Nervosa Superior, vol. 27, Dic. 1985.

Later on in the October 1960 in the castle of Smolenice near Bratislav there was a symposium on corticovisceral relations together with other five societies and various scholars, and a ‘round table discussion about terminological problems’ with the participation of Horsley Gantt, too.
According to Ruttkay Nedecký ‘at this meeting of representatives from Western and Eastern countries, a preliminary agreement was obtained concerning the foundation of an International Association of Societies involved in the study of higher nervous activities’.
The cited article of Activitas Nervosa Superior of 1985 reports on the contrary that ‘the International Association for the Study of Higher Nervous Activity was founded on October 22nd, 1960’. ‘In 1962 an interim committee began to function which convened the first international conference in London in September 1964 and co-organized a symposium in Berlin in November 1964.’
Yet, from the testimonies at our disposition there are some contradictions on the real date of birth of a society called CIANS.
Evidently, the important idea of an international association that could foster a scientific dialogue between East and West with periodical meetings of the scholars was born at the end of the 50s in the mind of numerous scholars who elaborated successive projects.
But it’s well known that in those years there were great political difficulties, distrust and hostility, both from East and West, that probably hindered the realization of these projects. We were talking about the same things but with different terminologies (corticovisceral theories, psychosomatics), we were studying the same phenomena with different methodologies: it was necessary to meet and compare our knowledge.
Nevertheless the scientific value of this idea, also in my opinion, was changing into a political value, founded on peace and the living together of two worlds, that came true even through the cooperation and the exchange of experiences among scholars of similar subjects. At the bottom of their hearts they were sure that cooperation and the personal reciprocal knowledge could work in favour of peace, against a possible atomic war.
Time was ripe in the period of thaw, that is during the 60s.
In April 1966 in Washington at the V Congress of CINP (Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum) was organized a symposium on Classical Conditioning and Psychopharmacology where a group of participants, and I was one of them, decided to create an association similar to CINP called also with a similar name: Collegium Internationale Activitatis Nervosae Superioris (CIANS). I remember that at that occasion I had to correct the Latin name it had taken.
As Thomas Ban (2003) says ‘The formal proposal to found an international organization was unanimously accepted by the group and CIANS was inaugurated with Horsley Gantt (American) as President and Juri Saarma (Estonian) as President-elect and other officers, in September of the same year, 1966, during the V World Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid.’ This is confirmed in the note at the foot of the 1968 draft of CIANS Statute by members of the Committee on Constitution.

Figure 4 – The castle of Smolenice, venue of the symposium in the 1960.

Figure 4 – The castle of Smolenice, venue of the symposium in the 1960.

 Figure 5 – From left: Morozov (Russian), Astrup (Norwegian), Goldwurm (Italian), Vinar (Czech) and Ban (Canadian) – Washington, 1966.

Figure 5 – From left: Morozov (Russian), Astrup (Norwegian), Goldwurm (Italian), Vinar (Czech) and Ban (Canadian) – Washington, 1966.

 Figure 6 – Note extract from 1968 draft of CIANS Statute.

Figure 6 – Note extract from 1968 draft of CIANS Statute.

It’s just like saying that our association was conceived at the end of the 50s and after a long and troubled period of gestation it was baptized in the middle of the 60s with the name CIANS. I don’t remember if the Collegium became at once a session of the World Psychiatric Association but that happened quite soon, also in consideration of the role of psychiatrists and the importance that the theories of the Higher Nervous Activities have in psychopathology (Pavlov himself at that purpose wrote and developed the work on experimental neuroses prosecuted by Gantt, Liddell, Wolpe, and so on).
I also think that considered the still uncertain political ups and downs (it is sufficient to say that in 1968, while we were organizing the first Iternational Congress of CIANS, Czechoslovakia was occupied) the WPA was probably (really I don’t know) also a valid protective cloak. In fact, in Autumn 1968 at the first CIANS International Congress in Milan, though the political difficulties, we managed to have in Italy a conspicuous number of Eastern scholars.
The first CIANS Congress was this one and I was the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee.

Figure 7 – Cover of the proceedings of the first CIANS Congress (Milan, 1968).

Figure 7 – Cover of the proceedings of the first CIANS Congress (Milan, 1968).

Figure 8 – Committees of the first CIANS Congress (Milan, 1968).

Figure 8 – Committees of the first CIANS Congress (Milan, 1968).

 Figure 9 – The scientific programme of the first CIANS Congress.

Figure 9 – The scientific programme of the first CIANS Congress.

Besides there were many individual communication so devided:

  1. Conditioning, Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry
  2. Conditioning in Clinical and Experimental Psychopharmacology
  3. Autogenic Training and Deconditioning Techniques
  4. Physiopathology of the H.N.A. (Animal Studies)
  5. Physiopathology of the H.N.A. (Human Studies)
  6. Second signalling System Function in the H.N.A.
  7. Current Concept in Corticovisceral Physiopathology and Psychosomatic Medicine
  8. Neurohumoral Mechanism in the Brain Function

As you can see there was a great interdisciplinarity and a relevant international participation. Work presented were 126 and the authors 185. The congress was really interdisciplinary and had a remarkable propulsive power.
This congress was followed by a similar one in Prague in 1975 (494 works presented, and 946 authors) and then by a conference in Milan in 1979 with the participation also of two pupils of Pavlov: Asratyan and Gantt. They had two lectures, respectively entitled “Might of conditioned-reflex mechanism” and “Preventive aspects of psychiatry”.
Unfortunately Gantt, candidate for the Nobel Prize, died in 1980.
And as it’s described in the commemoration of the CIANS Anniversary in the Activita Nervosa Superior of 1985 political, social and scientific changes determined in their turn other changes in our organization. In one meeting in Olomouc in 1983 it was decided to separate from the WPA and to adhere to the IBRO (International Brain Research Organization). In fact in the Membership Directory of IBRO in 1991 it appears the CIANS.

Figure 10 – Participants at the first CIANS Congress (Milan, 1968).

Figure 10 – Participants at the first CIANS Congress (Milan, 1968).

Figure 11 – The table of contents from the book of abstracts of the second CIANS Congress (Prague, 1975).

Figure 11 – The table of contents from the book of abstracts of the second CIANS Congress (Prague, 1975).

The following meeting were for instance the one in Moscow of 1984 and then in Magdeburg in 1987 and so on.I want to remind here the presence of Dostalek who was for me a clever man and a dear friend. I remember that together with Simonov he was invited to our AIAMC (Italian Association for Behavioural Analysis & Modification,& Behaviour & Cognitive Therapies) congress in 1986.
The Executive Committee from 1984 to 1988 was so composed:

  • Ctibor Dostálek (Prague), President
  • Karl Baettig (Zürich), Vice-president (Europe)
  • Joseph Wortis (Stony Brook, NY), Vice-president (America)
  • Marat E. Vartanyan (Moscow), Vice-president (Other Regions)
  • Samuel A. Corson (Colombus, OH), General Secretary
  • John A. Stern (Frontenac, MO), Tresaurer
  • Milan Horváth (Prague), Executive Secretary.

The following congress was in Osaka in 1989. At that time (1988) the Statute was emended, and subsequently approved by postal ballot in 1989. This statute provided that a By-Law should be done, but this happened only much later and it was approved by the Executive Committee in Bad Kreuznach in June 2002, 14 years later.

From 1989 to 1993 the Executive Committee was so composed:

  • Karl Baettig (Zürich), President
  • Milan Horváth (Prague), General Secretary
  • David J. Ramsay (San Francisco), President Elect
  • Ctibor Dostálek (Prague), Past President
  • Benjamin H. Natelson (New Jersey), Secretary-Tresaurer
  • Michael M. Khananashvili (Tibilisi)
  • Akitane Mori (Okayama)
  • Marat E. Vartanyan (Moscow)

Figure 12 – Committee of the CIANS Confernce – Olomouc, 1983.

Figure 12 – Committee of the CIANS Conference – Olomouc, 1983.

 Figure 13 – From left (first line): Cazzullo, Anochina, Guareschi, Goldwurm – Moscow, 1984.

Figure 13 – From left (first line): Cazzullo, Anochina, Guareschi, Goldwurm – Moscow, 1984.

In 1992 there was a satellite conference in Hannover and an approach to the ISBM (International Society of Behavioural Medicine). Evidently the crisis of the Eastern countries determined also in our Collegium a moment of rest and reflection, but after that the scientific activity restarted and, especially in the recent years it has become very interesting.
I can remember the CIANS Conference in Naples (Italy) of 1999, connected with the X AIAMC Congress, that voted this Executive Committee:

  • Gian Franco Goldwurm (Milan), President
  • Heinz Rüddel (Bad Kreuznach), President Elect
  • Stewart Wolf (Bangor), Past President
  • Miloslav Kukleta (Brno), Counsellor
  • Milan Horváth, Secretary-General
  • Spiridione Masaraki (Milan), Secretary-Tresaurer

or the Symposium in Piestany (Slovakia) of 2000 and the CIANS Conference in Palermo (Italy) in 2001.

From Palermo the Executive Committee was :

  • Heinz Rüddel (Bad Kreuznach), President
  • Fedor Jagla (Bratislava), President Elect
  • Gian Franco Goldwurm (Milan), Past President
  • Miloslav Kukleta (Brno), Counsellor
  • Milan Horváth, Secretary-General
  • Spiridione Masaraki (Milan), Secretary-Tresaurer

Figure 14 – Participants at CIANS Symposium 2000 (Piestany – Slovakia). 1. Ruttkay Nedecký; 2.Roberto  Guzzi; 3. Gian Franco Goldwurm; 4. Spiridione Masaraki; 5. Vladislav Zikmund; 6. Fedor Jagla; 7. Miloslav Kukleta

Figure 14 – Participants at CIANS
Symposium 2000 (Piestany – Slovakia).
1. Ruttkay Nedecký; 2.Roberto  Guzzi;
3. Gian Franco Goldwurm; 4. Spiridione Masaraki;
5. Vladislav Zikmund; 6. Fedor Jagla;
7. Miloslav Kukleta

Figure 15 – The CD-ROM with the proceedings of the CIANS Conference 2001.

Figure 15 – The CD-ROM with the
proceedings of the CIANS Conference 2001.

Figure 16 – From left: Rüddel and his wife, Masaraki, Horváth , Goldwurm in Prague.

Figure 16 – From left: Rüddel and his wife,
Masaraki, Horváth , Goldwurm in Prague.

Then came the Conference in Bad Kreuznach (Germany) in 2003 and finally the same year in October in Trencianske Teplice (Slovakia) another CIANS meeting. And now (2004) the Conference of St. Petersburg.

The present Executive Committee is:

  • Fedor Jagla (Bratislava), President
  • Vitaly Bagaev (St. Petersburg), President Elect
  • Heinz Rüddel (Bad Kreuznach), Past President
  • Miloslav Kukleta (Brno), Counsellor
  • Gian Franco Goldwurm (Milan), Counsellor
  • Milan Horváth, Secretary-General
  • Spiridione Masaraki (Milan), Secretary-Tresaurer

This is the history of our days and as Heinz Rüddel said in Bad Kreuznach ‘CIANS is alive!’.
Compared with the past our Collegium seems more European or I would rather say mittel-European and in the era of the United Europe this has got even more significance.
Yet, as in our tradition, besides interdisciplinarity we want internationality. So, let’s reconnect to Russia at East and then let’s hope to USA in the West.
Along with the taking again of the Satellite Conferences, and for the future we hope for the Congresses, we must improve and pay more attention to the organization. At last in Bad Kreuznach we approved the By-Law, an instrument to have sure and democratic rules.
At the moment we have been operating the fastest communications via internet and though with some changes, preserved the CIANS Journal “Homeostasis”.
We still miss a sure gathering of adhesions and of the members as well as adequate funds.
But independently from the problems and international issues, we want to preserve our main characteristics: interidisciplinarity and independence and I would also add our father that is to say Ivan Petrovich Pavlov.

Figure 17 – Bagaev with the  Italians at the I.P. Pavlov  Institute of Physiology. From left: Masaraki, Bagaev, Goldwurm, Colombo, Guzzi, Giordano, Cassitto (St. Petersburg, May, 2004).

Figure 17 – Bagaev with the Italians at the I.P.
Pavlov Institute of Physiology. From left: Masaraki, Bagaev, Goldwurm, Colombo, Guzzi, Giordano, Cassitto (St. Petersburg, May, 2004).

Figure 18 – Jagla and Bagaev af the CIANS Conference of St. Petersburg (2004).

Figure 18 – Jagla and Bagaev af the CIANS Conference of St. Petersburg (2004).

Figure 19 – Cover of Homeostais, the official journal of CIANS.

References

  • VV. (1985). 25 years of CIANS, Collegium Internationale Activitatis Nervosae Superioris. History, presence, and perspective. Activitas Nervosa Superior, 27, 4.
  • Ban T. (2003). Founding of CIANS. E-mail in CIANS-Net, 2 May 2003.
  • Jagla F. (2003). Presidential address. Bad Kreuznach, March 12th, 2003, see also newsletter cians.org
  • Ruttkay Nedecký I. (2000). Smolenice Symposium 1960. Homeostais, 40, 3-4: 16

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[1] With the collaboration of Federico Colombo.
[2] Part of this work was presented at the Symposium for CIANS in 8th Multidisciplinary International Conference of Biological Psychiatry “Stress and Behavior” held in St. Petersburg, May, 17-19, 2004.