Respiration and brain activity are interlinked and form some cortical oscillations in the human brain. Breathing is an automatic function that controls brain activity and its processes. Still, recent studies show that for better function of brain mechanisms 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 work on the brain stem and their efficacy. A research article published by the Journal of Neurophysiology by Jose L. Herrero, Simon Khuvis, Erin Yeagle, Moran Cerf, and Ashesh D. Mehta discusses volitional control and awareness of breathing to engage distinct but overlapping brain circuits.
This study recommends that breathing acts as an organizing higher-ranking principle for neuronal oscillations in the brain and details 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 for various therapies by exploring the neurophysiology behind it using intracranial recordings in human beings.