The respiratory system, which consists of the airway, the lungs and the muscles of respiration, works with the cardiovascular system to oxygenate blood and eliminate carbon dioxide. The two primary processes involved in respiration are ventilation and gas exchange. Ventilation is to the movement of gas through the airway to and from the lungs. Gas exchange refers to the passive exchange by diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide between pulmonary alveoli and blood in the pulmonary capillaries. Ventilation occurs under the control of the autonomic nervous system in coordination with the medulla oblongata and the pons in the brainstem, the areas of the brain constituting the respiration regulatory center.
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Conceptual Vocabulary for The Respiratory System