Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

pp 1-6

Date: Latest Version

Coupled Oscillations in Neural Control of Breathing

  • Yaroslav MolkovAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematical Sciences, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Email author 


Dual-generator concept


The respiratory rhythm in mammals is generated by a respiratory central pattern generator (CPG) in the brainstem and encompasses both pons and medulla (see Fig. 1; Alheid and McCrimmon 2008; Smith et al. 2013). The pre-Bötzinger complex (pre-BötC), located in the ventrolateral region of the medulla, is the putative kernel of rhythmic inspiratory activity. The pre-BötC interacts with the expiratory neurons of Bötzinger complex (BötC) to generate primary respiratory oscillations. These oscillations are defined by both the intrinsic biophysical properties of neurons involved and the network interactions within and between the pre-BötC and BötC. Through the premotor neurons of the rostral ventral respiratory group (rVRG), these oscillations produce rhythmic drive to phrenic motoneurons that through the phrenic nerve (PN) control movements of the diaphragm and lung inflation.
Fig. 1

Parasagittal view of brainstem at the level of nucleus ambiguus. Abbrev ...

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