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January 11, 1965


JAMA. 1965;191(2):132-133. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080020060023

The 1914 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded for contributions on vestibular function to a native son of Vienna, who was captured and held prisoner of war by the Russians after the fall of the fortress of Premysl. Robert Barany received the MD degree from the University of Vienna in 1900, having written his inaugural thesis on rhythmical nystagmus. Following graduation he studied internal medicine with von Noorden at Frankfort, psychology with Kraepelin at Heidelberg, and neurology and psychiatry with Pfi at Freiburg. Returning to Vienna, he served as an assistant to Politzer, a relatively young professor in the world famous ear clinic. Barany there began investigations on vestibular nystagmus.1

Because of additional training in internal medicine and psychiatry, a curiosity for the pathogenesis of motor function, and clinical devotion to otology, Barany was able to define normal and abnormal responses of the semicircular canals to special