Breathing is not only a physiological process, but also a key factor affecting the way our brains work. A recent study has shown that breathing patterns can enhance or impair memory recall, which may be useful for developing treatments for brain and mental disorders.
Medullary respiratory activity is the body’s natural and spontaneous breathing, controlled by the respiratory control center in the medulla oblongata. Of particular importance is the Pre-Bötzinger complex (PreBötC), which is located within the medulla oblongata and is responsible for regulating breathing.
A recent study conducted by scientists on genetically modified mice showed that temporarily stopping breathing impairs the mice’s ability to form important memories. Pauses in breathing were also found to affect the activity of the hippocampus, a key memory center in the brain. Speeding up irregular breathing improved the mice’s memory, while slowing down breathing caused it to deteriorate.
A previous study by the same group of scientists showed that the transition from exhalation to inhalation (EI) affects a person’s ability to memorize information. Brain scans have also established a link between memory impairment and deactivation of the temporoparietal junction (TPJ), which plays an important role in processing information and shaping reactions.
The researchers hypothesize that certain breathing patterns can influence the information processing performed by the VTS, and that these effects can be replicated in humans as well. This opens new perspectives for the use of breathing exercises in the therapy and treatment of various mental disorders.
There is already some information about the connection between breathing and the brain, such as the fact that breathing exercises help relieve stress. However, the team of scientists who conducted this study believe that consciously adjusting breathing may have other therapeutic applications.
“Further research should identify the specific role of breathing and molecular mechanisms in the brain to understand the effects of stress tolerance,” says neuroscientist Nozomu Nakamura. “Breath manipulation and the use of breathing exercises may be crucial for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.”
This new study opens new possibilities for developing innovative treatments for mental disorders based on breathing adjustments. Further human studies will help clarify the effects of breathing on the brain and develop effective therapies.