Comparison of Ventilatory Strategies During Automatic and Voluntary Breathing

  • Jorge Gallego
  • Jean-François Camus
Part of the Wenner-Gren Center International Symposium Series book series (WGS)


The automatic and voluntary controls of breathing operate via different neural pathways : the automatic component of breathing originates in neuronal structures located in the pons and medulla which ensure the central organization of vagal and chemoreceptor reflexes. By contrast, voluntary control of breathing is generated in somatomotor forebrain structures which are thought to transmit their descending impulses to the medullary reticulum and to the spinal cord via corticobulbar and corticospinal pathways. These two pathways interact at a number of levels, including the spinal cord (Von Euler, 1983; Mitchell and Berger, 1981; Plum, 1970; Plum and Leigh, 1981; Purves, 1979) and consequently, one might expect that breathing patterns during automatic and voluntary control are mutually related.


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© The Wenner-Gren Center 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Gallego
  • Jean-François Camus

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