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When the Slovak Academy of Sciences was founded in 1953 several medical research laboratories were established and were later (in 1957) included as departments in the former Institute of Experimental Medicine. Since 1965, the departments of Experimental Surgery and Experimental Hygiene have been constituted as independent institutes, and according to its research profile the Institute of Experimental Medicine has been renamed the Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology. The establishment of the Institute allowed to promote scientific research in human cardiovascular physiology, neurophysiology and psychophysiology in Slovakia.

Cardiovascular research at the Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology is oriented on the physiological, behavioural, biochemical, molecular biological, and morphological aspects of blood pressure regulation, on the regulatory mechanisms of the heart frequency and vasomotor activity in relation to various pathological conditions. Particular attention is paid to prevention and therapy of hypertension and certain other cardiovascular diseases by means of traditional and potentional antihypertensive drugs administered in the form of usually used substances, or binded to nanoparticles.

The research in the neurosciences is focused at the higher brain functions and the neurophysiological mechanisms of posture control in humans. Studied are brain mechanisms of perception, attention, memory, emotional and motor processes and their relations to mental health and dysfunction in major mental disorders. Also investigated are the mechanisms of human static and dynamic balance during upright posture, transition from sitting to standing and during walking in healthy subjects and patients with vestibular, neurological, and cardiovascular diseases.

Since 1960, the Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology had played an important role in international scientific activities, which resulted in the foundation of the Collegium Internationale Activitatis Nervosae Superioris (CIANS) and of the International Society of Electrocardiology. In 1999 researchers of the Institute established the NO club which involves the scientists oriented on investigation of the role of nitric oxide (NO) in organism. The Institute is the publisher of the journal Activitas Nervosa Superior Rediviva.