Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

pp 1-20

Date: Latest Version

Computational Models of Mammalian Respiratory CPG

  • Jeffrey C. SmithAffiliated withCellular and Systems Neurobiology Section, NINDS/NIH Email author 


Rhythmic breathing movements in mammals are produced by a central pattern generator (CPG), consisting of specialized neuronal networks located in the brainstem that are capable of endogenously producing patterned rhythmic activity. This activity emerges from the intrinsic biophysical properties and synaptic interconnections of spatially distributed neuron populations within the pontine–medullary circuits comprising the CPG. These circuits are embedded in a larger respiratory neural control system engaging various central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral afferent inputs that regulate the neural activity patterns including the oscillation period and amplitude of the output rhythmic motor activity to adjust it to the internal and/or external environment for sensorimotor integration and physiological homeostasis of O2 and CO2 in the body. Computational models of the brainstem respiratory CPG that incorporate various levels of biological and mathematical detail have been in dev ...

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