Respiration and brain activity are interlinked, forming some cortical oscillations in the human brain. Breathing is an automatic function that controls brain activity and its processes. However, recent studies show that for better functioning of brain mechanisms, the cognitive aspects of breathing must be considered. Therapies like breath control and awareness have been practiced for centuries, but there is little understanding of how they affect the brain stem and their efficacy. A research article published in the Journal of Neurophysiology by Jose L. Herrero, Simon Khuvis, Erin Yeagle, Moran Cerf, and Ashesh D. Mehta discusses the volitional control and awareness of breathing to engage distinct but overlapping brain circuits.

This study recommends that breathing acts as a higher-ranking organizing principle for neuronal oscillations in the brain. It details the structures of how cognitive factors impact automatic neuronal processes during introspective attention. This article links breathing and brain stem activity, which has been practiced for years in various therapies, by exploring the neurophysiology behind it using intracranial recordings in human beings.

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