Program & Replays

Looking for Inspiration

Broadcast on January 11, 2023
With Jack L Feldman, PhD
Hosted by Jessica Dibb

What ignites inspiration? This is the question Jack Feldman has spent decades researching. In this fascinating journey that integrates the science, practice, and the potential of breathing, you’ll learn how and why breathing, and particularly, volitional breathing, can have powerful impacts on your state and motivation.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • The pre-Bötzinger Complex in the brain (discovered by Jack and his team) is the driver of the rhythm of breathing

  • Why breathing rhythm is so important

  • The latest in future breathing and other breathwork research

The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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Jack L Feldman, PhD

Distinguished Professor and David Geffen Chair in Neuroscience, UCLA

By identifying and characterizing brain sites critical for neural control of breathing, Jack Feldman, PhD, revolutionized our understanding of basic physiological processes controlled by the brain. His landmark discoveries of the preBötzinger Complex and the retrotrapezoid nucleus in 1989-90 made concrete neural structures critical for breathing, permitting their molecular-genetic definition and elucidation of (dys)functions of breathing with contemporary transgenic, optogenetic, and pharmacological techniques. Combining these cutting-edge techniques, development of novel experimental preparations (including a rhythmic in vitro slice for breathing and an isolated spinal cord for locomotion), and interdisciplinary expertise in pulmonary physiology and neuroscience, Feldman assigned three critical respiratory functions to these two areas: inspiratory and expiratory rhythm generation, and central chemosensation. In particular, the attribution of control of expiratory movements to the retrotrapezoid nucleus relied on an imaginative interpretation of quantal slowing, a strangely unique phenomenology that underlies a widely accepted model of inspiratory/expiratory coupled oscillators.

Feldman and colleagues discovered a microcircuit from the RTN to preBötC that drives signs essential for the maintenance of lung function and identified ascending preBötC neurons that modulate emotional state. Most recently Feldman and colleagues are investigating mechanisms by which changes in breathing patterns affect emotion and cognition. Feldman, taking advantage of the ability to study breathing-related brain areas in a behavioral context, continues to illuminate how the brain controls breathing, and how breathing can affect emotion and cognition, paving the way for more clinically relevant discoveries of mechanisms underlying breathing-related diseases, including central sleep apnea, CCHS, neurodegenerative diseases, and the positive effects of breathing practice on emotion.

Jack L Feldman, PhD