The pioneers of vestibular physiology in the 19th century

Dasgupta S., Mandala M., GÜNERİ E. A., Bassim M., Tarnutzer A. A.

Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0022215124000951
  • Journal Name: Journal of Laryngology and Otology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Balance, Historical biography, Inner ear, Physiology, Vertigo
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


It was known from ancient times that vertigo was a malady, and the inner ears of animals contained an intricate network of structures named the labyrinth whose function was unknown. The flourishing of human vestibular anatomy in the Renaissance period still adhered to age old notions of traditional spiritual philosophy. In the post Renaissance period, when science was being redefined and challenging these traditional thoughts, vestibular physiology was born. Started by Flourens, it gathered momentum with Hogyes, Goltz, Breuer, Mach, Crum Brown, Ewald, Brown Sequard and Baginsky in the 19th century. They discovered the role of the vestibular organ in sensing balance and the fine intricacies of vestibular physiology valid to this day. Ménière shattered the concept of traditional aetiology of vertigo and de Cyon challenged the Kantian concept of space. The science catapulted to the modern century. This article traces the history of these pioneers of vestibular physiology.