We investigated the effects of voluntary control of breathing on autonomic function in cardiovascular regulation. Variability in heart rate was compared between 5 min of spontaneous and controlled breathing. During controlled breathing, for 5 min, subjects voluntarily reproduced their own spontaneous breathing pattern (both rate and volume on a breath-by-breath basis). With the use of this experimental design, we could unmask the effects of voluntary override of the spontaneous respiratory pattern generator on autonomic function in cardiovascular regulation without the confounding effects of altered respiratory pattern. Results from 10 subjects showed that during voluntary control of breathing, mean values of heart rate and blood pressure increased, whereas fractal and spectral powers in heart rate in the respiratory frequency region decreased. End-tidal PCO2 was similar during spontaneous and controlled breathing. These results indicate that the act of voluntary control of breathing decreases the influence of the vagal component, which is the principal parasympathetic influence in cardiovascular regulation.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below