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Bárány chair[bə′rän·ē ‚cher]
a special rotating chair for investigating the functional condition of the vestibular apparatus, the organ of equilibrium. It was proposed by the Austrian scientist R. Bárány (1876–1936). The Bárány chair consists of a seat that rotates horizontally to the right and left. During the experiment (rotation) the subject experiences stimulations, which are transmitted from the vestibular apparatus to the medulla oblongata; as a result, jerky eye motions—rotatory nystagmus—arise as a reflex. After the Bárány chair is stopped, the speed with which nystagmus stops is used to judge the condition of the semicircular canals and other sections of the vestibular apparatus; the general reaction of the body to rotation is also observed. The Bárány chair is used in the selection of aviators and in medical examinations of pilots, astronauts, and others.