97th DOG Annual Meeting 1999
HANS RIEKEN (1913 - 1943), A YOUNG MATURE SCIENTIST
H. F. Piper
In the years 1941 - 1943, Rieken developed a procedure to monitor the time course of dark adaptation independently of the subjective sensations of the investigated person. Moving stripes were presented with light intensity close to the respective threshold. It was observed if an opto-kinetic nystagmus was provoked. With such qualitative means he examined soldiers who claimed to be night blind and compared objective and subjective threshold values. Another manoeuvre to provoke involuntary eye movements in day light he named "mirror-room motions". The approach to infer vision power from psycho-optical reflexes is also found in Ohm's methods to determine objective vision acuity. In the literature Rieken's work is discussed under the following key-words: (1) dark adaptation, (2) oculomotoric, (3) complex behavioural automatisms, (4) malingering. It is of interest to ophthalmologists, physiologists, neuro-otologists and psychologists. Rieken, born in 1913, entered the eye hospital of the University of Kiel (director: A. Meesmann) in 1939. There he received the Dr. med., the habilitation and the Axenfeld award. He died in 1943 from Tbc.
Medizinische Universität zu Lübeck