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Locomotion Respiratory coupling

  • 10 Jul 2018 9:58 PM
    Message # 6375353
    Torey (Administrator)

    Running and Breathing in Mammals

    Dennis M. Bramble and David R. Carrier

    The capacity for sustained aerobic exercise (locomotion) is characteristic of

    both birds and mammals and has no doubt contributed to their evolutionary

    success. Mammalian locomotion in particular has been the object of intense

    investigation in recent years. Studies have been done to elucidate the characteristic movement patterns or "gaits"

    employed by various species (1, 2) as well as their biomechanical (3-5) and energetic (6) bases. Nonetheless, one basic aspect of mammalian locomotion has gone almost entirely without notice-namely, the manner in which mammals integrate respiration and locomotion. It is obvious, for example, that running mammals must effectively ventilate their lungs while in motion if sustained aerobic metabolism is to be achieved. But exactly how pulmonary function is accomplished under such conditions and to what extent body motion influences the respiratory process-have not been determined by those concerned either with locomotor or respiratory phenomena. It now appears, however, that locomotor-respiratory integration must be included in any realistic evaluation of the form,function, and evolution of mammalian locomotor and respiratory mechanisms.

    Physiological Evidence

    Most of the evidence favoring an intrinsic linkage between locomotion and respiration in mammals has come from

    physiological experiments on anesthesized, decerebrate laboratory animals and from bicycle ergometer tests on humans. Early observations suggested that movement of the limbs could evoke changes in the breathing of anesthesized mammals (7). Subsequent studies have yielded many additional data in support of the neurogenic control of the respira-

    Dr. Bramble is associate professor in the Depart-

    Last modified: 12 Jul 2018 1:20 PM | Torey (Administrator)

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