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January 1969

Vestibular Physiology and Tests

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, University of Amsterdam.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(1):11-18. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020013002

THE SUBJECT I have to cover today is immense. As I only have half an hour in which to tell you some of the facts, I have to simplify to give you an insight into this complicated problem, as complicated as the name labyrinth already suggests.

In the inner ear we find two sense organs besides the organ of hearing: the semicircular canal system and the otolith organ. Both are sense organs because they react to specific stimuli with sensations and reflexes. In the case of the canal organ, rotatory-accelerated movements are the stimuli, and sensations of rotation and reflexes in the muscles of eyes, neck, limbs, and trunk are the responses. The stimulus for the otoliths is linear acceleration, the sensation is one of position (verticality), the reflexes again can be found in the muscles of the eyes, neck limbs, and trunk.

As a result of a rotational acceleration,

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