“Properties of robust, flexible, and state-dependent respiratory control”
Nathan A Baertsch, Ph.D.
Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Center for Integrative Brain Research
Abstract: Despite the deceptive simplicity of breathing, the underlying neural control of this vital physiological process is complex. Breathing is regulated automatically by neural circuits in the medulla to ensure breathing continues without interruption during wakefulness, sleep, and even anesthesia. To do so, the respiratory rhythm produced by these circuits must be robust, but also flexible to adapt breathing to changes in metabolic or environmental demands. In addition to this automatic control, breathing is conditionally modified by behavior and emotion in the awake state. This seminar will provide an overview of our recent work to understand the brainstem circuits and neural properties that mediate the robust, flexible, and state-dependent properties of breathing.