SINCE 1906, when Bárány1 wrote his paper on the caloric reaction of the labyrinth, which made this test one of the most generally employed methods of examining the labyrinth, many theories have been proposed concerning the cause and origin of the vestibular reactions elicited by irrigation with water of a temperature different from that of the body. If these theories are mentioned here, this is done for the present without any comment as to their respective importance.
Bárány1 was the first to offer a theory to explain the phenomena of the caloric reaction. In his opinion, the change in temperature at the drum membrane caused by the syringing is conducted toward the semicircular canals by the structures in the temporal bone. The first canal reached is the horizontal one in its most lateral part. When a change of temperature occurs here, the endolymph in this special spot is likewise influenced;
JONGKEES LBW. ORIGIN OF THE CALORIC REACTION OF THE LABYRINTH. Arch Otolaryngol. 1948;48(6):645–657. doi:10.1001/archotol.1948.00690040659002