Friday, May 13, 2022

What Part Of Your Brain Controls Your Breathing

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Different Breathing Patterns Activate Our Brain Networks Related To Mood Attention And Body Awareness A New Study Suggests

How Different Parts of Your Brain Control Your Breathing

Slow down, and pay attention to your breath. Its not merely commonsense advice. It also reflects what meditation, yoga, and other stress-reducing therapies teach: that focusing on the timing and pace of our breath can have positive effects on our body and mind. A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

Paced breathing involves consciously inhaling and exhaling according to a set rhythm. For example, you might inhale for four counts, exhale for six, and repeat. Prior research shows that paced breathing exercises can both focus attention and regulate the nervous system. To date, however, we have known little about how this affects brain function in humans.

These findings represent a breakthrough because, for years, weve considered the brain stem to be responsible for the process of breathing. This study found that paced breathing also uses neural networks beyond the brain stem that are tied to emotion, attention, and body awareness. By tapping into these networks using the breath, we gain access to a powerful tool for regulating our responses to stress.

Location And Basic Physiology

In vertebrate anatomy, the brainstem is the most inferior portion of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the brain and spinal cord. The brainstem gives rise to cranial nerves 3 through 12 and provides the main motor and sensory innervation to the face and neck via the cranial nerves. Though small, it is an extremely important part of the brain, as the nerve connections of the motor and sensory systems from the main part of the brain that communicate with the peripheral nervous system pass through the brainstem. This includes the corticospinal tract , the posterior column-medial lemniscus pathway and the spinothalamic tract . The brain stem also plays an important role in the regulation of cardiac and respiratory function. It regulates the central nervous system and is pivotal in maintaining consciousness and regulating the sleep cycle.

How To Calm Your Brain When Its Not An Emergency

OK. Something happens, and your brain is screaming red alert. What you do next determines how the rest of the story goes and how you experience the situation. You can react subconsciously out of habit and respond with anxiety, anger, or panic. I can tell you from personal experience that can make a situation go from bad to worse very quickly. Reacting emotionally only feeds and reinforces the stress response in your brain, encouraging more of the same, and doesnt do anything to help you successfully navigate the situation.

However, there are times when responding subconsciously, like in an emergency when taking the time to think could be deadly, is best. Well talk about that later. For now, lets assume its not a life or death situation.

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Breathing Above The Brain Stem: Volitional Control And Attentional Modulation In Humans

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York

Department of Neurosurgery, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Manhasset, New York

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York

Department of Neurosurgery, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Manhasset, New York

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York

Department of Neurosurgery, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Manhasset, New York

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York

Department of Neurosurgery, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Manhasset, New York

Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: A. D. Mehta, Northwell Health Physician Partners Neuroscience Institute, 611 Northern Boulevard, Great Neck, NY 11021 .

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  • Control Of Body Temperature

    What part of the human brain is responsible for the ...

    The preoptic area in the hypothalamus is responsible for monitoring body temperature and for reactions to increases in temperature. Extreme increases in temperature are apparent when this area is injured or damaged. The area hypothalamica posterior contains neurons that do not directly monitor body temperature however, they react to the information from peripheral and central thermoreceptors and activate output functions of thermoregulation. Output functions of thermoregulation are concentrated on the maintenance of adequate body temperature and protection of the organism against hypothermia.

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    Each Part Of The Brain Controls What

    The brain is a remarkable organ and incredibly complex. The three main regions of the brain are the midbrain, hindbrain and forebrain, which is broken up into additional sections including the frontal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe that control different parts of the body. All of these work together like a well-oiled machine to allow humans to function properly.

    The cerebellum is located at the lower back part of the brain. This part of the brain controls equilibrium and balance and allows humans to move correctly. It coordinates the muscles and joins so they can work together.

    The occipital lobe controls vision. It is located at the very back part of the brain and affects how humans judge everything visual, from how something moves to how colors register. Two signs that something is wrong in this area of the brain are if the person experiences hallucinations or perceives colors differently.

    A part of the brain called the temporal lobe controls a very important part of a person: memories. In addition, this specific part of the brain controls language functions, sexual functions and personality. It also has an effect on how the person perceives verbal and non-verbal input.

    The Brain Acts As A Highly Complex Communication System

    In the grey matter, the brain cell bodies generate information in the form of electrical signals and the axons carry the signals to other cells. White matter tracts connect different parts of the cerebral cortex and other structures, allowing communication across the brain network.

    In this way, information is carried around the brain itself and, via the spinal cord and nervous system, to and from every other part of the body, e.g. muscles, glands and sensory organs .

    Brain stats

    • The average adult brain contains around 100 billion brain cells.
    • Each is connected to around 1,000 others.
    • Thats 100 trillion connections.
    • There are billions of axons in the brain, but only a handful of primary white matter tracts.

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    The Relevance To The Field Of Physiology

    The preBötC is the only population oscillator in the mammalian motor center, where the rhythmogenic mechanisms have been demonstrated at the cellular biophysics and neural population levels if not yet fully. These wide-ranging and convergent investigational approaches may inspire other motor center studies.

    Breathing And Your Brain: Five Reasons To Grab The Controls

    Breathing with your brain

      The advice to just breathe when youre stressed may be a cliché of Godzilla-sized proportions, but that doesn’t make it untrue. The substance behind the saying is research-testedand not only to manage stress.

      Breathing is an unusual bodily function in that it is both involuntary and voluntary. Other major functionstake digestion and blood flow, for exampleoccur without conscious influence, and for the most part we couldnt influence them if we tried. They are involuntarily managed in the vast processing system of the unconscious mind.

      Breathing is also managed in the unconscious, but at any moment we can grab the controls and consciously change how we breathe. We can make our breathing shallow or deep, fast or slow, or we can choose to stop breathing altogether .

      Since we are breathing all the time, the oddness of this dual-control system doesnt usually dawn on usbut its this control flexibility that makes breathing especially worthy of attention. We can change how we breathe, and to an extent change how breathing affects our bodies.

      Controlled breathing, also known as paced respiration, diaphragmatic breathing and deep breathing, has long been a feature of Eastern health practices. It became more visible in the West after Dr. Herbert Bensons book, The Relaxation Response, hit shelves in the mid 1970s. Whatever you choose to call controlled breathing, the dynamic at work is full oxygen exchange: more oxygen enters the body and more carbon dioxide exits.

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      Show/hide Words To Know

      Blood-brain barrier: a protective layer that surrounds the brain and controls what things can move into the area around the brain.

      Circadian rhythm: the body’s natural clock that runs on roughly a 24 hour cycle. Many animals have a 24 hour cycle that includes sleeping, eating and doing work… more

      CLSM: confocal laser scanning microscope makes high quality images of microscopic objects with extreme detail… more

      Metabolism: what living things do to stay alive. This includes eating, drinking, breathing, and getting rid of wastes… more

      Puberty: the change from child to adult where the body is able to reproduce.

      Vertebra: any of the bones that make up the backbone.

      Neuronal Projection From The Prebtc Neurons

      With respect to projection to other brain stem regions, neurons in the preBötC send axonal fibers to various respiratory-related regions. Tan et al. demonstrated the axonal projection of SSTergic neurons in one side of the preBötC to the bilateral Bötzinger complex, VRG regions caudal to the preBötC, parafacial respiratory group/retrotrapezoid nuclei, parabrachial/Kölliker-Fuse nuclei and periaqueductal gray region. Furthermore, we showed that the neurons in one side of the preBötC region send axonal projections to the bilateral hypoglossal premotor areas, the bilateral hypoglossal motor nuclei and the bilateral nuclei tractus solitarius . However, there are no reports indicating the direct projection from preBötC neurons to either the cerebellum or the spinal cord . In contrast, the putative rhythmogenic neurons in the preBötC receive glutamatergic projections, e.g., from the lateral periaqueductal gray region and the parabrachial nucleus .

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      What Its Like To Hallucinate

      Visual hallucinations, specifically simple hallucinations are more prevalent among the general population. These hallucinations include lights, colors, lines, or simple geometric shape. They can reflect abnormal activity anywhere along the visual pathways in the eye or the brain, Kelley said.

      When people have these simple geometrical hallucinations, the primary visual cortex is activate. This is the part of the brain that perceives edges and patterns. Images cannot be formed with the primary visual cortex. They generate when a higher part of the visual cortex, according to Sacks, is involved in the temporal lobe, specifically the fusiform gyrus.

      To experience a drug-free hallucination, click on the video below to see the world melting before your eyes with objects and people distorted in real-time, the DailyMail reported. This is known as motion aftereffects, which makes you see movement in objects that are stationary. You can recreate the effect on-the-go with the Strobe Illusion iPhone app for 99 cents.

      The mind is a terrible thing to waste, so use it wisely.

      Control Of Biological Rhythms

      Meet Your Brain

      Rhythmic activity is generated by the ncl. suprachiasmaticus. Rhythmic hypothalamic processes extend into practically all other functions of the hypothalamus as sympathetic tone, hormone secretion, regulation of temperature, intake of food and fluids, sexual function, emotion, and immune processes.

      Other relationships include relation to sleep , immunity , and changes in the tone of the autonomic nervous system. Sympathetic-immune interactions particularly affect the secondary lymphoid organs and are believed to increase preparedness for escape/attack. Relation to memory , complex behavior , control of metabolism , sensory function and relation to the motor system ninvoluntary movements, extrapyramidal tract, basal ganglia).

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      Local Generators Of Respiration

      We next sought to examine the relationship between iEEG oscillations and local neuronal activity. Whereas iEEG oscillations may reflect both propagated activity and intrinsic rhythms , local broadband gamma power is thought to represent locally generated neuronal activity . By examining the coupling of broadband gamma power to the respiratory cycle, we demonstrate phase locking of broadband gamma to specific phases of the breathing cycle. A sample site is shown in : an electrode touching the olfactory bulb exhibits gamma amplitude increases at specific phases of the breathing cycle. We quantified this relationship by measuring the gamma amplitude at each phase bin of the breathing cycle and calculating a modulation index . The distribution of the observed phases for this site is not flat , unlike the surrogate distribution, demonstrating a significant MI at specific phases of the breathing cycle .

      The specificity of the observed effects in gray matter was seen across subjects. shows consistent iEEG-breath coherence and cross-frequency coupling across subjects. A summary of the effects localized on an inflated brain surface is shown for a representative subject and across the population of subjects localized on a common inflated surface . Effects are widely distributed across brain areas.

      Where Is The Medulla Oblongata

      The medulla oblongata, often simply called the medulla, is an elongated section of neural tissue that makes up part of the brainstem. The medulla is anterior to the cerebellum and is the part of the brainstem that connects to the spinal cord. It is continuous with the spinal cord, meaning there is not a clear delineation between the spinal cord and medulla but rather the spinal cord gradually transitions into the medulla.

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      Dispute About Pacemakers Existence

      Not everyone believes there is a breathing pacemaker to be found. Many in the field of respiratory neurobiology now believe the breathing rhythm is an emergent phenomenon that it arises from the coordinated efforts of different cells in the preBötC. This includes Feldman at UCLA, who 25 years ago discovered the preBötC and is a prominent figure in the field.

      Feldman says understanding the breathing rhythm is a goal that defies any easy discovery. His team had years ago considered the theory that a specific subset of neurons was responsible for breathing rhythm and discarded it, along with other obvious hypotheses.

      Despite the skeptics, Yackle is optimistic about his search. He believes those earlier studies could not rule out the possibility of specific pacemaker neurons because they didnt molecularly define the cells. In order to reproducibly find a cell in the preBötC and test its role in breathing, you have to be able to genetically access the cell, said Yackle.

      The fact that we can find cells that are molecularly distinct and it appears so far that they are also functionally distinct, it seems to me that the premise that all of these cells can function in a redundant way doesnt seem to be true, said Yackle.

      We know that theyre there, we just dont know yet how to uniquely define them.

      The Old Brain: Wired For Survival

      How to learn major parts of the brain quickly

      The brain stem is the oldest and innermost region of the brain. Its designed to control the most basic functions of life, including breathing, attention, and motor responses . The brain stem begins where the spinal cord enters the skull and forms the medulla, the area of the brain stem that controls heart rate and breathing. In many cases the medulla alone is sufficient to maintain life animals that have the remainder of their brains above the medulla severed are still able to eat, breathe, and even move. The spherical shape above the medulla is the pons, a structure in the brain stem that helps control the movements of the body, playing a particularly important role in balance and walking.

      Running through the medulla and the pons is a long, narrow network of neurons known as the reticular formation. The job of the reticular formation is to filter out some of the stimuli that are coming into the brain from the spinal cord and to relay the remainder of the signals to other areas of the brain. The reticular formation also plays important roles in walking, eating, sexual activity, and sleeping. When electrical stimulation is applied to the reticular formation of an animal, it immediately becomes fully awake, and when the reticular formation is severed from the higher brain regions, the animal falls into a deep coma.

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      How To Control Your Breathing

      Controlled breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing, deep breathing, pranayama breathing, or relaxing breathing. Whatever you call it, taking long, deep breaths slows your heart rate and activates your calming parasympathetic nervous system. You can practice slow breathing anytime and anywhere. The basic mechanics of controlled breathing vary slightly with each philosophy, but most teachings include three basic parts:

    • With a closed mouth, inhale deeply through your nose for a count , making sure your abdomen expands.
    • At the top of the inhalation, hold your breath for a certain number of counts .
    • Exhale completely through your mouth or nose for a count longer than the inhalation.
    • Control Mechanisms During Exercise And Sleep

      The control of breathing during both sleep and exercise is worthy of further examination. During slow-wave sleep, sensory stimuli are reduced, behavioral modifications are minimal, the central control mechanisms are depressed, and alveolar ventilation is reduced. The arterial CO2 runs 2 to 3 mm Hg higher than in the waking state. The situation is different during rapid eye movement sleep. Breathing becomes irregular. Muscular activity is greatly reduced indeed, the skeletal muscles, including those of the larynx and pharynx, relax. This may produce upper airway obstruction and apnea. This type of apnea is termed obstructive. Arousal occurs when the increasingly low Pao2 and high Po2 stimulate the carotid chemoreceptors. This type of sleep apnea is seen in all persons however, it is especially common in older men. In patients with COPD whose normal ventilation is severely reduced, further reduction attributable to apneic episodes may be extremely detrimental. If the depression of the central mechanisms is severe enough, a central type of sleep apnea may occur. Respiratory activity ceases until arousal occurs. This may be a cause of sudden infant death syndrome.

      M.T. Cao, C.M. Pandya, in, 2013

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