Respiratory Central Pattern Generator

Jack L. Feldman

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI:
Respiratory Central Pattern Generator

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This chapter focuses on the mammalian respiratory central pattern generator (CPG) capable of regulating blood O2, CO2, and pH that lies within the brainstem and spinal cord. A substantial component of the CPG plays no significant role in rhythm generation but is devoted to transforming the rhythm into an appropriate pattern of motor activity to pump air and regulate airway resistance. While breathing may be considered a simple motor act whose goal is to inflate and deflate the lung, the energetics of these movements appears to be highly optimized. This optimization, reflected in circuitry in the caudal brainstem and spinal cord devoted to pattern formation, should not be surprising given that breathing is the only continuous skeletal muscle behavior and accounts for about 5% of total body metabolism at rest.

Chapter.  3294 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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