Breathing and the Psychology of Emotion, Cognition, and Behavior

  • Ronald Ley


Breathing is the only vital function that is under direct voluntary control as well as reflexive control. As such, it is a behavior that is subject to the psychological principles of both instrumental (operant) and Pavlovian (respondent) conditioning. While traditional approaches to the psychological study of emotion, cognition, and behavior have occasionally focused on changes in breathing as a consequence of some experimental manipulation, far less attention has been paid to the extent to which emotions, thoughts, and behaviors can be influenced by changes in breathing. The purpose of the this chapter is to bring attention to breathing as a behavioral act and to discuss its interactive effects with emotion, cognition, and behavior.


Panic Disorder Panic Attack Pavlovian Conditioning Test Anxiety Electrodermal Response 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Ley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and StatisticsState University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

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