Course Description

Understanding how the brain controls breathing is an important and exciting area of scientific and clinical study. The primary aim of the course is to highlight how breathing is generated and regulated by both the central and peripheral nervous systems. We will discuss these topics from molecular, cellular and systems levels. An emphasis will be placed on the control of breathing during both health and disease. For example, we will discuss how sleep disorders impact respiratory control. This is an appropriate course for students who are interested in aspects of neuroscience and clinical pathophysiology.

Lecture Topics:

  1. Overview for the respiratory system – neuro-anatomy
  2. Cellular and systems approaches to studying respiratory neurobiology
  3. Work of breathing
  4. The brain and breathing – what’s the link?
  5. Peripheral mechanisms of respiratory control
  6. Central mechanisms of respiratory control
  7. Genetics and breathing (e.g., Central congenital hypoventilation syndrome)
  8. Respiratory disorders (e.g., Sleep apnea)


(BIO270H1, BIO271H1) / (PSL300H, PSL301H1)



Course Administrator

Nalini Dominique-Guyah
RW 424E

Contact Hours

24L, 12T

Required Text(s)/Readings


Evaluation (Subject to change)

Two assignments: 30% of total grade
Term test: 25% of total grade
Final examination: 45% of total grade

Last updated on May 31st, 2022