Tests of vestibular function.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Tests of vestibular function. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


A simple demonstration which requires an accompanying lecture, helping to explain the vestibular system (to do with sense of balance) of the cochlea and labyrinth of the inner ear. Innervation of ocular muscle. Demonstration of horizontal and perpendicular nystagmus. Effects of caloric test, rotation test, falling test. 3 segments.


United States, 1925.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (16 min.) : silent, black and white



Copyright note

British Medical Association

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales


Segment 1 The intertitles explain that the eyes serve as indicators of vestibular stimulation, and how the nerves in the vestibular system innervate movement of the eye towards the ear. An illustration shows the mid brain, hind brain and vestibular nerve, and various other nerves are pointed out. Animated dotted lines show the connections between various nerves and muscles. The intertitles describe nystagmus, a type of eye movement, which occurs after stimulation of the labyrinth. The eyes of a patient are shown in slow motion, performing the movements made in nystagmus. Next, horizontal nystagmus is explained using illustrations, and the patient's eyes are shown making the movements in slow motion. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:37:13 Length: 00:05:37:13
Segment 2 Intertitles and illustrations explain rotary nystagmus, and the patient's eyes are seen moving in real time as well as in slow motion. The intertitles explain what normally happens when the labyrinth is stimulated. A caloric test is performed on a subject to examine the external auditory ear canal and ear drum. The effects of chilling the ear are shown and the certical canals are also tested. Time start: 00:05:37:13 Time end: 00:10:26:03 Length: 00:04:48:15
Segment 3 Intertitles explain the nystagmus in reaction to the ears being chilled. The eye movements are shown. The horizontal ear canals are tested, and the duration of nystagmus is shown to be variable. The effects of hot water are tested. A rotation test is performed, with the patient's eyes following a pen held by the doctor. The intertitles explain the effect of rotation on the ear canals, and the resulting nystagmus. The eye movements are shown. A falling test is performed. The patient is shown trying to walk after being spun around. Time start: 00:10:26:03 Time end: 00:16:03:03 Length: 00:05:37:00

Creator/production credits

Produced by Dr. R. Lyman and Rochester University

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