What Part Of The Brain Controls Breathing

What Part Of The Brain Controls Breathing
Voiced by Amazon Polly

The brain is the very centre of our being. It houses our minds, habits, and it controls all bodily functions. We more or less know which part of the brain does what, but there is so much left to learn. This text serves this very purpose: to help us learn what part of the brain controls breathing.

If knowledge is power than learning is your superpower.

-Jim Kwik, the author Mindvalley’s Superbrain program

Is Breathing Controlled By The Brain?


Is our breathing controlled by the brain? Yes, it absolutely is, and the part of the brain controlling our breathing is called the brain stem.

Which Part Of The Brain Controls Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, And Respiration?


What Part Of The Brain Controls Breathing

According to many experts, brain stem may be the most important part of our brain. It is located in the very back of the head, right where the spinal cord connects with the skull. We may see it as a bridge of sorts. All the electronic signals of our brain have to pass through the brain stem before being transmitted to the rest of the body. Brain stem has three parts:

  • The Pons
  • The Midbrain
  • The Medulla Oblongata

The brain stem has the task to regulate many of the important bodily processes. All of the processes under its control are automatic – they occur without our conscious influence. These include our heart rate, blood pressure, and of course, the respiratory process.

And the part of the brain stem in charge of these processes is the medulla oblongata.

Which Part Of The Brain Keeps You Breathing?


Breathing helps us to absorb oxygen from our atmosphere, and that oxygen plays a huge role in turning food into energy our body requires. It also allows us to get rid of carbon dioxide that the respiration process generates.

The medulla oblongata is able to precisely detect the exact amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide within our system. Depending on this ratio, it signals the heart and the diaphragm with instructions on how to work.

The greater the level of strength we need to complete a task, the more oxygen we need. Therefore, both the respiratory and the cardiovascular system need to work harder to provide us with the amount of oxygen we need to produce energy and get rid of all the excess carbon dioxide.

For example, if we’re working out, we’re exerting our body more than usual. The medulla oblongata notices our body’s need for more oxygen (for oxygen is energy, and the greater the exertion, the more energy we need), so it makes us bread heavily to increase the oxygen intake. In addition, our heart beats faster so the necessary oxygen can be distributed to the muscles with increased speed.

What Part Of The Brain Controls Breathing

The increased intake of oxygen helps us deal with the greater generation of carbon dioxide more efficiently as well. Thus, the medulla oblongata holds the respiratory process balanced: in with the oxygen, out with the carbon dioxide.

However, if the oxygen concentration is too great, the medulla oblongata signals the respiratory and the cardiovascular system to take it down a notch or two. “Too much of good stuff is bad stuff”, as the young people say these days.

To further illustrate the importance of the brain stem, we can say this: it is possible to survive and live with the effects of an injury of other parts of the brain, but injuries of your brain stem are fatal.

Learning how to breath calmly may also affect your steadiness, and skill to control your emotions.


Developing a Super Memory is a lot easier than you think. Discover the same tools that brain expert, Jim Kwik, taught Elon Musk, Brian Tracy and Google to boost their memory and speed up their learning. Sign up for his FREE Masterclass below:


Did you like our little article about which part of our brain controls our breathing? If you have any suggestions or know some useful breathing techniques, feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

Stefan Mitrovic

Stefan Mitrovic

"Nula dies sine linea" is what best describes Stefan.
A constant seeker for new ideas with interest in anything and everything. Trivia master and adventurer at heart, he is a true space cadet.

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.