Despite the enormous literature gathered since the classic work of Hitzig, Breuer and Ewald, the action of electrical stimuli on the labyrinthine apparatus1 is not yet understood. The difficulties and contradictions encountered if one assumes that the current acts on the fibers or the peripheral endings of the vestibular nerve were summarized by Brünings.2 Some of these difficulties are easily met; e. g., the continuation of nystagmus after the stimulation ceases is simply a phenomenon of after-discharge, which is encountered with many reflexes. The fact that the response not only appears on the closing and opening of the current, as on stimulation of motor nerves, but continues during the flow of the current is understandable if one bears in mind that electrical stimulation of sensory nerves follows other rules than those for motor nerves. Ebbecke,3 for instance, demonstrated that stimulation of a sensory cutaneous nerve with a constant current of
SPIEGEL EA, SCALA NP. RESPONSE OF THE LABYRINTHINE APPARATUS TO ELECTRICAL STIMULATION: SITE OF ACTION; FARADIC STIMULATION; INVERSE EFFECTS OF ANODIC AND CATHODIC STIMULATION. Arch Otolaryngol. 1943;38(2):131–138. doi:10.1001/archotol.1943.00670040142004
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