Breathing is controlled by the medulla oblongata
What assist breathing?
The work of breathing is done by the diaphragm, the muscles between the ribs (intercostal muscles), the muscles in the neck, and the abdominal muscles. The diaphragm is the most important muscle used for breathing in (called inhalation or inspiration). It is the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. The diaphragm is attached to the base of the sternum, the lower parts of the rib cage, and the spine. As the diaphragm contracts, it increases the length and diameter of the chest cavity and thus expands the lungs. The intercostal muscles help move the rib cage and thus assist in breathing.
The medulla oblongata is the lower half of the brainstem, which is continuous with the spinal cord, the upper half being the pons. The medulla contains the cardiac, respiratory, vomiting and vasomotor centres and therefore deals with the autonomic (involuntary) functions of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.