Breathing Centers

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The breathing centers are grey nuclei made up of nerve cell bodies that are found in the medulla oblongata. These nuclei are parts of the reticular formation of the brainstem (medulla, pons, midbrain). Through the phrenic nerve and the thoracic branches of the intercostal nerves, these breathing centers of the central nervous system control the movements of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles that make inhalation and exhalation (expiration) possible in breathing. The destruction of these grey nuclei in the medulla causes respiration arrest and death.