Human Cardiovascular and Respiratory Control in Exercise



Year three

Understanding how the cardiovascular and respiratory systems control blood pressure, blood flow and the delivery of O2 and substrates and removal of CO2 and metabolites between rest and maximum exercise is crucial for understanding how humans exercise. This module studies to the limits of current knowledge, our understanding of how central feedforward and peripheral feedback pathways appear to be intimately involved in the control processes.

The module uses lectures to introduce the basic concepts and scientific evidence, followed by seminars where staff and students debate the strengths and weaknesses of the key arguments so that students obtain a detailed understanding of the limits of current knowledge. Students are also given a thorough grounding in critically evaluating reviews scientific papers, the principles of scientific method and the skills of essay writing.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental mechanisms that explain how the cardiovascular system and breathing are controlled at rest and during exercise.
  • Explain the original scientific evidence and theoretical concepts central to the control of breathing and the cardiovascular system.
  • Critically evaluate the current limitations of knowledge in the control of breathing and the cardiovascular system.


Lectures, seminars


Written assignment
Final Examination