A bilateral cortico-bulbar network associated with breath holding in humans, determined by functional magnetic resonance imaging

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Title A bilateral cortico-bulbar network associated with breath holding in humans, determined by functional magnetic resonance imaging
Author McKay, Leanne C.; Adams, Lewis; Frackowiak, Richard S.J.; Corfield, Douglas R.
Journal Name NeuroImage
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United States
Publisher Academic Press
Abstract Few tasks are simpler to perform than a breath hold; however, the neural basis underlying this voluntary inhibitory behaviour, which must suppress spontaneous respiratory motor output, is unknown. Here, using blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI), we investigated the neural network responsible for volitional breath holding in 8 healthy humans. BOLD images of the whole brain (156 brain volumes, voxel resolution 3 × 3 × 3 mm) were acquired every 5.2 s. All breath holds were performed for 15 s at resting expiratory lung volume when respiratory musculature was presumed to be relaxed, which ensured that the protocol highlighted the inhibitory components underlying the breath hold. An experimental paradigm was designed to dissociate the time course of the whole-brain BOLD signal from the time course of the local, neural-related BOLD signal associated with the inhibitory task. We identified a bilateral network of cortical and subcortical structures including the insula, basal ganglia, frontal cortex, parietal cortex and thalamus, which are in common with response inhibition tasks, and in addition, activity within the pons. From these results we speculate that the pons has a role in integrating information from supra-brainstem structures, and in turn it exerts an inhibitory effect on medullary respiratory neurones to inhibit breathing during breath holding.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.01.058
Volume 40
Issue Number 4
Page from 1824
Page to 1832
ISSN 1053-8119
Date Accessioned 2011-07-27
Date Available 2011-08-19T06:43:05Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Health Institute; Heart Foundation Research Centre
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Central Nervous System; Medical Physiology; Systems Physiology
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/40109
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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