Robert Barany

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Born Saturday 22 April 1876, died Wednesday 8 April 1936

Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: Austrian

Vertigo, it was thought at the time, could only be caused by a disease of the cerebellum. He observed this kind of patient for years and saw absolutely no symptoms of brain disease.

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Two minutes later the right arm was pointing normally and the reaction to the left appeared. The patient made no complaint at all about the experiment.

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The site of hearing was now known to be in the cochlea.

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The investigations also proved that there were many cases of spontaneous deviation, i.e. cases where there had been no stimulation of the semi-circular canal apparatus.

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The interpretation of facts in a certain way stimulates other scientists' thoughts.

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The incorrectness and weaknesses of a theory cause other minds to formulate the problems more exactly and in this way scientific progress is made.

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It came to me then in a flash that obviously the temperature of the water was responsible for the nystagmus.

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I was now successful in proving that a direction of movement is localized in the cerebellum.

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I am convinced that people with such wounds will be quite ready to co-operate in a safe and painless experiment in the interests of humanity as a whole.

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Even such an obvious idea as to observe an animal with vertigo or to rotate an animal did not occur to him, in spite of the fact that he conducted numerous vertigo experiments with human subjects and made frequent use of animal experiments.

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As soon as I had proved this and, of course, also the normal pointing action and reactions in all other extremities and joints, I stopped the experiment.

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As neither of these two great research scientists was able to find the solution to the mystery, it is small wonder that none of their contemporaries were able to do so either.

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