The respiration control centre is present in the pons region of the hindbrain. Here will read how pons helps in respiration control. Let us first know about pons.
Pons is a part of the human brain stem. It is located below the midbrain and above the medulla. It comprises neural tracts, which interconnect different parts of the brain. It helps in conducting signals from the brain to the medulla and cerebellum and carry the sensory signals to the thalamus. Pons helps in relaying information between the cerebellum and forebrain.
How pons act as respiration control?
The pons is the other respiratory centre and is located below the medulla. Its principal function is to control the rate or speed of involuntary respiration.
It has two main functional regions that perform this role:
- The apneustic centre sends signals for inspiration for long and deep breaths. It regulates the intensity of breathing and is inhibited by the stretch receptors of the pulmonary muscles at maximum depth of inspiration, or by signals from the pnuemotaxic centre. It increases tidal volume.
- The pnuemotaxic centre gives signals to inhibit inspiration that permits it to finely control the respiratory rate. Its signals limit the activity of the phrenic nerve and inhibit the signals of the apneustic centre. It decreases tidal volume.
The apneustic and pnuemotaxic centres work opposite each other together to control the respiratory rate.