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Decoding the origins of breathing

infographic on mouse brain stem and breathing controlBreathing is driven by a rhythm that arises from the coordinated activity of neurons in the brainstem. This neural network, referred to as a central pattern generators (CPGs), continues to produce respiratory rhythms even when separated from the rest of the brain. Using a combination of electrophysiology, optogenetics, and computational modelling, our lab investigates the specific cell types, their cellular properties, and their network interactions that allow this network to produce rhythm. We hope that unravelling these fundamental mechanisms of respiratory control will establish a necessary foundation for understanding how neurological diseases can cause breathing pathologies.