Pain and Anxiety Impact Breathing on a Cellular Level

This shows shell neuronsCore neurons in the lateral parabrachial nucleus project to the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with fear and emotional processing of pain. Neurons in the shell project to the pre-Bötzinger complex, a region that generates breathing rhythm. Both core and shell neurons influence each other according to inputs from each area, increasing breathing rate when we are in pain or anxious.