The group of neurons in the medulla oblongata of the brain that controls the process of ventilation. The partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood and the pH of the blood are monitored by chemoreceptors in the arteries. These include the carotid bodies in the carotid arteries and the aortic bodies in the wall of the aorta close to the heart. The ventilation centre responds to an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood by increasing the rate of breathing. Within the ventilation centre are subcentres that control inspiration (see inspiratory centre) and expiration (expiratory centre).
Subjects: Biological Sciences.