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The Mechanism and Regulation of Breathing.

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Angela Carpenter The Mechanism and Regulation of Breathing. Breathing is an involuntary movement that is controlled by the medulla, which is part of the hind brain. Air is sucked into the lungs by an active process called inspiration. The external intercostals muscle contract and the internal intercostals muscle relax this causes the ribs to be drawn upwards and outwards. While this is happening the diaphragm muscles contracts and pushes down towards the abdomen. The lungs are made to expand because the pleural surfaces of the lungs are attached to the pleural on the chest wall; this increases the volume of the air spaces and drops the air pressure in the lungs so that air rushes in. ...read more.


Regulation of breathing is controlled by the respiratory centre in the hind brain. The respiratory centre has three areas called the medullary rhythmicity area, the apneustic area and the pneumotaxic area. Basic rhythm of inspiration and expiration is controlled by the medullary rhythmicity area. Nerve impulses from the apneustic area can alter the depth of breathing and nerve impulses from the pneumotaxic area can alter the breathing rate. The respiratory centre is influenced by many sensory signals which indicate what changes need to be done to the regulation of breathing. ...read more.


Baroreceptors are also found in the aortic arch and carotid bodies and these are sensitive to a change in blood pressure. The ph of the blood is monitored by the peripheral chemoreceptors. In the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles there and stretch receptors which are simulated by overstretching during excessive inspiration. The control of breathing is a complex interaction and can be influenced by many other factors e.g. raised body temperature, pain and emotion. There is also an ability to control and alter our breathing voluntary for various reasons such as speaking, yawning or coughing. Reference: Advanced human biology. J Simpkins. J I Williams. ...read more.

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