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January 1937


Author Affiliations

Chicago Otologist to the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases of the Northwestern University Medical School

Arch NeurPsych. 1937;37(1):137-141. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1937.02260130147009

Galvanic falling, reported over a hundred years ago,1 has not been utilized as a clinical procedure for testing labyrinthine functions, as have the caloric and rotation tests, because of inconsistent results. Disturbance of the normal posture of a person or of an experimental animal by stimulation of the region of the ear with the galvanic current has been reported by many investigators (Ritter, cited by Stern2), Purkinje, Remak, Brenner, Hitzig,1 James,3 Pollak4 and Babinski.5 Hitzig in 1871, sixty-eight years after the early report of Augustine and almost fifty years after Purkinje's work on the galvanic falling reaction (cited by Hitzig1), noted that the direction of the falling obtained on closure of the galvanic circuit was uniformly toward the anodal electrode. Early investigators considered the reactions to be due to central stimulation, principally of the cerebellum. Breuer6 localized the reactions obtained by galvanic