The Rhythm Of Our Breathing Influences Our Brain Function And Behavior


The Rhythm Of Our Breathing Influences Our Brain Function And Behavior

Breathing is not just for consuming oxygen; it’s also related to brain function and behavior.

Northwestern Medicine scientists have found for the first time ever that the rhythm of breathing causes electrical activity in the human mind that boosts emotional judgments and memory recall.

These influences on behavior are based on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the mouth or the nose.

In the research, each person was able to identify a fearful face faster if they saw the face while breathing in compared to breathing out. Additionally, individuals were more likely to recall an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than on the exhaled one. Interestingly, the effect vanished if breathing was through the mouth.

“One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation,” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus, all across the limbic system.”

The study was published Dec. 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The senior author is Jay Gottfried, professor of neurology at Feinberg.

Northwestern scientists first found these differences in brain activity while examining 7 patients with epilepsy who were scheduled for brain surgery. A week before the surgery, a surgeon implanted electrodes into the patients’ brains to identify the origin of their seizures. That gave scientists the opportunity to acquire electro-physiological data directly from their brains. The electrical signals proved that brain activity fluctuated with breathing. The activity takes place in brain areas where feelings, memory and smells are processed.

The discovery led scientists to ask if cognitive functions typically related to these brain areas — especially fear processing and memory — could also be influenced by breathing.

The amygdala is strongly connected to the emotional processing, especially fear-related emotions. So scientists asked about 60 individuals to make quick decisions on emotional expressions in the lab environment as their breathing was being recorded. While looking at pictures of faces expressing either fear or surprise, the individuals had to tell, as fast as they could, which feeling each face was expressing. ( picture is for illustrative purposes only.)

When faces were shown during inhalation, subjects recognized them as fearful faster than when faces were shown during exhalation. This was not the case for faces expressing surprise. These results decreased when individuals performed the same task while the breathing was through the mouth.

In another experiment — tied to the hippocampus — the same individuals were looking at pictures of objects on a computer screen and tried to remember them. Later, they were asked to describe those objects. Researchers discovered that recall was better if the pictures were shown during inhalation.

According to Zelano, the discoveries indicate that fast breathing may offer an advantage when somebody is in a dangerous situation.

"If you are in a panic state, your breathing rhythm becomes faster,” Zelano said. “As a result you’ll spend proportionally more time inhaling than when in a calm state. Thus, our body’s innate response to fear with faster breathing could have a positive impact on brain function and result in faster response times to dangerous stimuli in the environment.”

Another potential result of the research is on the main mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network,” Zelano noted.

Sources/References: Northwestern University,


  1. The superb work done by dr. wakina that brought back my husband encouraged me to wright this testimony, to motivate anybody out there fighting to sustain his or her relationship that there is still hope and ways to get back your lover because letting go will never heal a wounded heart, but finding the total cure does. I am happy woman today because of the right decisions and steps I took to fight for the man I wants to spend my entire life with and also the father of my child.
    I had hope when I came across information and testimonies online by people writing on how their partner returned to them after a love spell from dr. wakina via his email
    Before the love spell, I keep wondering how my husband moved from being a loving and caring father to a vile and nasty person overnight without reasons, unlike him. I searched myself to the ground and did not see the wrong I have done that made him pick up a bag of his cloths to his friends basement just five days to our eleventh anniversary without saying a word. I love him with every breath in me and I can do anything to make him love me gain. The testimonies and information I got about dr. wakina became my only hope after several failed attempt to get him back after he was gone for two weeks.



Activism,1307,Art,791,BLM,22,Consciousness,1545,CoVid-19,154,Cures,227,Do it Yourself,112,Documentaries,72,Environment,1478,Fiction,2,Health,765,History,464,Human Intelligence,554,Inspirations,2,Inspiring Stories,4179,Justice,536,Mental Health,16,News,1411,Nutrition,218,Philosophy,309,Photography,1590,Quantum Physics,29,Quizzes & Tests,145,Quotes,113,Relationships,781,Science,1145,Self Improvement,838,Spirituality,248,Sustainability,246,Technology,477,Truth,755,
Thinking Humanity: The Rhythm Of Our Breathing Influences Our Brain Function And Behavior
The Rhythm Of Our Breathing Influences Our Brain Function And Behavior
Breathing is not just for consuming oxygen; it’s also related to brain function and behavior.
Thinking Humanity
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy