Control of Breathing

Respiration is largely an involuntary act resulting from the automatic generation of rhythmic breathing by the respiratory centre in the brainstem.

The rate and depth of breathing are controlled by homeostatic mechanisms. The homeostatic control system includes receptors, the respiratory control centre and the effectors, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. Chemoreceptors sensitive to carbon dioxide concentration, hydrogen ion concentration and oxygen concentration are found in the medulla (central chemoreceptors) and in the aortic and carotid bodies (peripheral chemoreceptors).

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