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Introduction to Physiology: Respiration (Research Paper Sample)


A research paper on respiration


Introduction to Physiology: Respiration
Date of submission
To find out, comprehend and explain different factors that control the rate and depth of respiration.
Background information
There are a lot of factors that determine the rate and depth of human respiration. Some of the factors are influenced by the conscious control part of the brain while others are not. Different organ system functions leads to unique pattern of respiration and even though respiration is controlled by the autonomous nervous system, people play a part in the control of breathing. Respiration is affected by certain chemicals which include oxygen, carbon dioxide, acid, epinephrine and acetylcholine (Marieb e.tal 2010).
Whether or not oxygen concentration affects respiration remain a debating topic in the scientific realm. This is because the human body is as sensitive to blood oxygen concentration as other chemicals like carbon dioxide. The aortic bodies cause an increase in respiration with low oxygen concentration but there is no response with a high concentration. On the other hand, the aortic bodies and other brain parts senses both low and high carbon dioxide concentration and cause and appropriate response. Breathing can be altered by speaking, singing, emotions and even pain whereby a signal is sent via the limbic system to the sympathetic center of the hypothalamus. Exercises also cause an increase in breathing since the muscles consume lots of oxygen and releases carbons oxide in excess triggering increased respiration. Generally the rate of respiration differs according to age, gender, height, weight and whether or not the person is a smoker (Scott 2004).
Materials and methods
Breathing was done deeply and at a fast rate for a period of 30 seconds. The number of breaths taken each minute after hyperventilating was recorded in a table.
Breathing was then done into a bag for a long time while ensuring that no air leaks occur at the bag's edges. This ensures that one breath the same air repeatedly. The number of breathes in the first minute of recovery was tabulated.
Breath was held at the peak of a normal, gentle and quiet inspiration and the time taken to breath point (in seconds) was measured and tabulated. Hyperventilation followed for 30 seconds and the breaking point measurement was captured again into the table. After recovery, air from the bag was re-breath for 1 minute and the breaking point measurement taken.
A beaker was half filled with water and a few drops of bromothymol blue were added. The color and pH was then noted. Wearing a pair of safety glass and using a straw, air was blown into the water for a number of complete breaths. The water color and the pH were noted again.
Table 1- Class average breathing rate (b/min)
Resting rate


Breathing rate after hyperventilation


Breathing rate after re-breathing


Table 2 - Class average Breaking point (sec)
Resting rate


Breathing rate after hyperventilation


Breathing rate after re-breathing


Chart 1 Class average of breathing rate
The breathing rate at rest which is the normal condition is 15.924b/min. After hyperventilation, whereby one breathes deep and fast for 30 seconds, the rate reduces slightly below the rest condition. The rate of breathing increases tremendously during the third procedure, breathing after re-breathing using a closed bag. This reaches a rate of 22.178...
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