Control of breathing.

C Bárbara, M M Carmo, A B Rendas, R Avila


The control system of breathing can be considered as a closed loop system, consisting of two subsystems: the controlling system and the controlled system. Both systems are defined by their input-output relationships. The controlling system is defined by the Respiratory Centers that are responsible for two separate, but overlapping, patterns: the automatic control pattern and the behavioral or voluntary control. In the controlling system the input is the blood gas value and the output is some parameters of ventilation. The controlled system is characterized by an input of ventilation and an output of blood gas values. In this closed loop system breathing is normally regulated by two anatomically distinct but functionally integrated elements, referred to as the metabolic and behavioral respiratory control systems. The metabolic control is concerned with blood gas homeostasis and the voluntary control relates with activities such as phonation and singing that use the ventilatory apparatus for purposes other than gas exchange.

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