- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Mach-Breuer theory

Related people

A theory to explain the reactions of the vestibular organ: at the beginning and end of a rotation of the head there occurs, in the semi-circular canals of the ear, an endolymph shift that moves the hairs of cristae ampullares and elicits the vestibular reactions. The vestibular organ is thus responsible for the perception of the body's own movement.

Ernst Mach, in Prague, experimented on himself, while Josef Breuer's experiments were done on deaf persons.

See also Bárány’s theory of endolymph flow, under Robert Bárány, Austrian-Hungarian/Swedish physician and otologist, 1876-1936.


  • J. Breuer:
    Ueber die Function der Bogengänge des Ohrlabyrinths und über den statischen Sinn.
    Medizinische Jahrbücher, Wien, 2nd series, 1875, 4: 72-124.
    This work was submitted to the K. und k. Akademie on November 1873.
  • E. Mach:
    Grundlinien der Lehre von den Bewegungsempfindungen.
    Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, 1875.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.