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Prog Brain Res. 2011;188:213-8. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53825-3.00019-X.

Chapter 14--looking forward to breathing.

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Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.


I provide a personal view of the developments since ~1986 that underlie the contemporary view(s) about how the rhythm of breathing is generated and how the pattern of breathing is modulated. Two sites in the mammalian brainstem are likely to participate in respiratory rhythm generation: the preBötzinger Complex (preBötC), first described and intensely investigated since 1990, plays a well-documented essential role in normal breathing in mammals of all ages and may be principally involved in controlling inspiratory motor activity, and the retrotrapezoid/parafacial respiratory group (RTN/pFRG) that appears to play at least a modulatory role in neonatal and juvenile rodents and may be a conditional oscillator that controls active expiration.

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