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Why can't people talk while inhaling?

Why can't people talk while inhaling?


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Why do we have to exhale in order to talk? From looking on Wikipedia, it seems like it has something to do with the glottis, but I'm not clear on the mechanism that makes speech sound so different when air is coming in.


Via deep scientific analysis (i.e. trying it myself 5 seconds ago), I have determined that you can in fact speak while breathing in, it just sounds funny.

Think of the vocal chords as being like the body of a flute. As air passes by them, they vibrate and make sounds. Through careful modulation of their shape, specific sounds can be reproducibly made (this is equivalent to opening and closing the stops on the metaphorical flute). The way the pressure in your throat changes when you inspire (breathe in) is very different from the way in which the pressure changes when you expire (breathe out). These pressure differences are a large part of the reason why you sound different when you speak during inspiration as opposed to expiration, just like breathing into a flute differently would produce different sounds (although potentially the same notes).

Other physiological, neurological, etc. effects probably also cause differences in the vocal cords during expiration/inspiration and thus also contribute somewhat to the differences in the sound.


It’s Always The Quiet Ones: People Who Talk Less Really Are Smarter

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of being around big talkers.

They have a sh*tload of bravado. They're enchanting. They bring you in with their wild stories and their bold, enticing passion about the issues they're discussing.

The problem is that they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

They spend a lot of time chattering away without actually taking the time to think through what they’re saying. They're too busy listening to themselves to hear what anyone else has to say.

It’s easy to assume that the most outspoken, opinionated person in the room is the most intelligent. In fact, this isn't always the case.

The people who are the most intelligent are actually the ones you'd least expect to be smart. They patiently wait for other people to say what they need to say. They choose to open their ears rather than their mouths.

The quietest people are the smartest people the ones who talk less have the most brainpower.

These are the introverts. They're the creative types, the geniuses who get stimulation from learning rather than socializing.

You may not have noticed them. They prefer to fly under the radar, silently producing the best work and the most incredible art.

It’s always the quiet ones who turn out to be the most interesting and surprising, isn’t it?

Quiet people are too busy thinking to talk.

The quitest people are the ones inside their heads.

They're chronic over-thinkers. They may want to start a conversation, but they're busy thinking about that conversation's possible outcomes.

They dissect every single factor in a conversation. Speaking doesn’t come easily, as they take it very seriously.

Quiet people may have a lot to say, but they have trouble forming actual words because they're moving from one subject to the next inside their heads.

Quiet people write and read more than they speak.

Quiet, intelligent people focus their energy on creating. They aren't spending their free time out at the bar they're spending it reading and writing.

Introverts enjoy stimulating conversations, but it is safe to say that these are few and far between.

It’s the quiet ones who are sitting in their libraries, reading and lounging on their couches, writing and creating.

Quiet people have stronger brains because they take time to reflect.

The best thing you can do for your brain is to give it a break and allow it to soak up what's around you.

According to AARP Magazine, being quiet is actually good for your brain health -- because it gives your mind a chance to wander and reflect.

It’s the quiet people who devote time to meditation. Their brains get stronger because they don’t just hear things they analyze them.

Quiet people aren’t loners they just value learning over gossip.

Some of the most intelligent people are introverts. According to an interview in Scientific America with Susan Cain, author of the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts":

It's not that shy people don’t enjoy being in the company of others they just prefer the company of books. Quiet people are natural learners, and they have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

Their curiosity draws them to learning as much as they can. Just because they're quiet doesn't mean they're antisocial they just prefer to expand their minds more than they like to open their mouths.

Quiet people choose their words wisely.

When people are constantly chattering, they aren’t thinking about what they’re saying. Quiet people watch what they say.

They are reflective people. They don't want to emit useless words in a world that is already so inundated with noise. They want to add meaning to the world.

The quiet person thinks about what to say instead of yammering on without a whim. Every single sentence is a carefully crafted masterpiece that has been created by his or her beautiful mind.

Quiet people don't blabber they listen.

The smartest people are the ones who are quietly listening and absorbing everything that is being said around them. These people have the most knowledge because they're processing words instead of speaking them.

Their thoughts and opinions arrive from knowledge that has been meticulously collected and curated. When you listen, you become a better decision-maker.

If you’re quiet, you’re going to make smart decisions. You can’t make an informed choice without first knowing all the facts.

The chatterboxes are too busy listening to themselves to really understand what they’re even talking about.


What causes difficulty breathing?

The symptoms of many conditions include difficulty breathing, which can be mild or severe.

A person who is having difficulty breathing feels short of breath, has trouble inhaling or exhaling, or feels as though they cannot get enough oxygen.

Very often, people experience trouble breathing after exercising or when they feel anxious. In some cases, breathing difficulties can signal a medical condition, so it is essential to work out the cause.

In this article, we look at the possible reasons why people might experience difficulty breathing. We also cover the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this symptom.

Share on Pinterest Inflamed airways and a stuffy nose can make breathing more difficult.

People with a common cold or the flu may have difficulty breathing. These illnesses cause the following symptoms, which can make breathing more difficult:

When a cold, flu, or chest infection is the cause of breathing difficulties, the symptoms should clear up when the illness resolves. Learn how to ease the symptoms of a cold here.

Anxiety can cause physical symptoms, including shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. A person’s breath is likely to return to normal once their anxiety eases.

Other symptoms of anxiety include:

  • feeling nervous or on edge
  • raised heart rate
  • a sense of doom
  • difficulty concentrating
  • digestive problems

People may sometimes experience extreme anxiety or panic attacks that resemble a heart attack. Other symptoms of a panic attack can include:

  • a raised or pounding heartbeat
  • a feeling of choking
  • sweating
  • chest pain
  • numbness or tingling
  • chills or heat sensations

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways leading to the lungs to become inflamed.

As with other chronic conditions, a person’s asthma will flare from time to time, usually as a result of exposure to a trigger. Triggers can vary between people but could include exercise, smoke, or particular allergens.

Common asthma symptoms include:

  • wheezing
  • chronic coughing
  • tightness in the chest
  • difficulty sleeping due to coughing or wheezing

Choking occurs when an object becomes lodged in a person’s throat. The object could be a larger piece of food, a toy, or another nonedible item that a child may typically put in their mouth.

Choking can be life-threatening if the object remains in the person’s mouth. However, if the removal of the object is rapid, a person will be able to resume normal breathing relatively quickly.

Common symptoms of choking include:

  • gagging following the initial inhalation of the object
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • a panicked look and frantic gesturing toward the throat

If the object entirely blocks the throat, the person will be unable to breathe, which is a medical emergency.

Signs that the object is preventing breathing include:

Several health conditions could potentially cause a person to have trouble breathing after eating.

For example, according to the COPD Foundation, shortness of breath after eating a more substantial meal is common for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because the food can push against the diaphragm and make it difficult to breathe in deeply.

Acid reflux may also cause shortness of breath. It can have this effect because stomach acid works its way up the esophagus and irritates the lining, which may cause inspiratory breathing problems. Acid reflux may also cause a chronic cough.

A person who has obesity or does not exercise regularly may experience periods during which they have difficulty breathing.

Short periods of exertion can cause a person to feel out of breath.

If weight or a lack of exercise is the cause of breathing difficulty, starting an exercise regimen and following a healthful diet can significantly contribute to reducing or eliminating the problem.

COPD is a term that describes several lung disorders, including chronic asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. COPD symptoms may worsen at night due to changes in the way that a person breathes while sleeping.

COPD can cause a range of symptoms, such as:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • coughing
  • fatigue, as a result of reduced oxygen in the blood

According to the American Lung Association, emphysema is one of the diseases under the COPD umbrella.

Emphysema thins and destroys the alveoli, or air sacs, in the lungs. The inhalation of cigarette smoke is a leading cause of this condition.

The primary symptoms of emphysema include:

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. It is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis progresses quickly, but it has some early warning signs and symptoms.

As pregnancy progresses, the fetus becomes bigger and can start to push on surrounding organs and muscles. These include the diaphragm, which is a muscle directly below the lungs that helps a person take deep breaths.

If the uterus pushes against the diaphragm, this can make it more difficult for the person to take deep breaths.

In addition to the expanding uterus, people may experience difficulty breathing during pregnancy due to progesterone, a hormone that the body produces in larger quantities during pregnancy. Progesterone can make someone feel as though they cannot take a deep breath.

If other symptoms arise, pregnancy is unlikely to be the cause of breathing issues, and it is best to see a doctor to determine the cause.

According to the American Heart Association, difficulty breathing is one of the common warning signs of a heart attack. Therefore, anyone experiencing this symptom should pay attention to any other symptoms that occur.

If a person experiences the following symptoms, they should get medical attention immediately:

  • chest discomfort
  • trouble breathing
  • discomfort in the back, jaw, neck, stomach, or one or both arms
  • lightheadedness
  • cold sweats
  • nausea

There are many possible causes of breathing difficulties. Whenever a person has trouble breathing for unknown reasons, they should see their doctor.

At an appointment, the doctor will ask about the other symptoms that a person is experiencing. In some cases, this may be enough for the doctor to determine the cause.

In other cases, a doctor may want to run tests to help diagnose the problem. These tests may include:

  • allergy tests
  • chest X-rays
  • lung tests
  • spirometry and methacholine challenge tests
  • arterial blood gas analysis

Risk factors vary greatly depending on the cause of the breathing problem.

For example, children are more at risk of choking than adults, while smokers have a higher likelihood of developing emphysema. People with asthma are more at risk of having breathing trouble following exercise or exposure to allergens.

Keeping active and eating a healthful, balanced diet can help prevent many issues with breathing that can develop over a person’s lifetime.

The cause of the breathing difficulty will determine the treatment. Some common treatments could include:

  • removal of an object in the throat, in cases of choking
  • medications
  • inhalers for asthma and other upper respiratory conditions
  • an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen) for anaphylaxis
  • eating smaller meals for acid reflux and COPD
  • antacids for acid reflux

In some cases, people can improve their breathing by using specific breathing exercises to increase their lung capacity. Learn about these exercises here.

A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience difficulty breathing that causes them to feel faint or occurs alongside other symptoms of a heart attack.

Otherwise, a person with unexplained shortness of breath or other breathing problems should speak to their doctor to determine what is causing the issue.

There are many potential ways to prevent the development of breathing difficulties. Some steps to consider include:

  • taking smaller bites of food and avoiding placing loose objects in the mouth
  • avoiding smoking and breathing in secondhand smoke
  • taking allergy medications and avoiding known allergens
  • eating healthful meals and exercising regularly
  • eating smaller meals
  • taking prescribed medications for chronic conditions and avoiding triggers

There are several different causes of breathing difficulty. Anyone with concerns about this symptom should see their doctor. Some causes are chronic, such as COPD, while others are temporary, for example, the common cold.

If symptoms are severe, the person will need immediate medical attention.

A person can typically avoid having difficulty breathing by avoiding triggers and living a healthful lifestyle that includes eating well and exercising regularly.


Hairless, clawless, and largely weaponless, ancient humans used the unlikely combination of sweatiness and relentlessness to gain the upper hand over their faster, stronger, generally more dangerous animal prey, Harvard Anthropology Professor Daniel Lieberman said Thursday (April 12).

Just days before Monday’s 111th running of the Boston Marathon, Lieberman presented his theories of the importance of running to ancestral humans to explain why we’re the only species that voluntarily runs extraordinarily long distances, such as the 26.2 miles in the marathon.

The talk, “Why Humans Run: The Biology and Evolution of Marathon Running,” was delivered at the Geological Lecture Hall as part of the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s spring lecture series, “Evolution Matters.”

While more than a million humans run marathons voluntarily each year, most animals we consider excellent runners — antelopes and cheetahs, for example — are built for speed, not endurance. Even nature’s best animal distance runners — such as horses and dogs — will run similar distances only if forced to do so, and the startling evidence is that humans are better at it, Lieberman said.

Modern humans and their immediate ancestors such as Homo erectus sport several adaptations that make humans, instead of some ferocious, furry, or fleet creature, the animal world’s best distance runners.

“Humans are terrible athletes in terms of power and speed, but we’re phenomenal at slow and steady. We’re the tortoises of the animal kingdom,” Lieberman said.

That evidence belies the long and firmly held belief that humans are the animal world’s biggest wimps and, if not for our big brains and advanced weapons, we’d be forced to subsist on fruits and vegetables, always in danger of being gobbled up by fiercer predators.

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The problem with that theory, Lieberman said, is that we began adding meat to our diets around 2.6 million years ago, long before we developed advanced weapons like the bow and arrow, which was developed as recently as 50,000 years ago.

While some of our ancestors’ meat-eating may have been due to scavenging, Lieberman said the appearance about 2 million years ago of physical adaptations that have no impact on walking but that make humans better endurance runners provide evidence that early scavengers became running hunters.

Specifically, we developed long, springy tendons in our legs and feet that function like large elastics, storing energy and releasing it with each running stride, reducing the amount of energy it takes to take another step. There are also several adaptations to help keep our bodies stable as we run, such as the way we counterbalance each step with an arm swing, our large butt muscles that hold our upper bodies upright, and an elastic ligament in our neck to help keep our head steady.

Even the human waist, thinner and more flexible than that of our primate relatives allows us to twist our upper bodies as we run to counterbalance the slightly-off-center forces exerted as we stride with each leg.

Once humans start running, it only takes a bit more energy for us to run faster, Lieberman said. Other animals, on the other hand, expend a lot more energy as they speed up, particularly when they switch from a trot to a gallop, which most animals cannot maintain over long distances.

Though those adaptations make humans and our immediate ancestors better runners, it is our ability to run in the heat that Lieberman said may have made the real difference in our ability to procure game.

Humans, he said, have several adaptations that help us dump the enormous amounts of heat generated by running. These adaptations include our hairlessness, our ability to sweat, and the fact that we breathe through our mouths when we run, which not only allows us to take bigger breaths, but also helps dump heat.

“We can run in conditions that no other animal can run in,” Lieberman said.

While animals get rid of excess heat by panting, they can’t pant when they gallop, Lieberman said. That means that to run a prey animal into the ground, ancient humans didn’t have to run further than the animal could trot and didn’t have to run faster than the animal could gallop. All they had to do is to run faster, for longer periods of time, than the slowest speed at which the animal started to gallop.

All together, Lieberman said, these adaptations allowed us to relentlessly pursue game in the hottest part of the day when most animals rest. Lieberman said humans likely practiced persistence hunting, chasing a game animal during the heat of the day, making it run faster than it could maintain, tracking and flushing it if it tried to rest, and repeating the process until the animal literally overheated and collapsed.

Most animals would develop hyperthermia — heat stroke in humans — after about 10 to 15 kilometers, he said.

By the end of the process, Lieberman said, even humans with their crude early weapons could have overcome stronger and more dangerous prey. Adding credence to the theory, Lieberman said, is the fact that some aboriginal humans still practice persistence hunting today, and it remains an effective technique. It requires very minimal technology, has a high success rate, and yields a lot of meat.

Lieberman said he envisions an evolutionary scenario where humans began eating meat as scavengers. Over time, evolution favored scavenging humans who could run faster to the site of a kill and eventually allowed us to evolve into persistence hunters. Evolution likely continued to favor better runners until projectile weapons made running less important relatively recently in our history.

“Endurance running is part of a suite of shifts that made Homo [the genus that includes modern people] human,” Lieberman said.


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Comments

I remember when I was in kindergarten way back when, i would scold people at my table for chewing out loud. I would poke them and say, you are chewing with your mouth open, can you stop? And they would stop. Recently we did this test and i wanted to kill somone because the amount of trigger noises that they were making. Of course im normal now but omg, that was some blood boiling stuff.

Loud music and constant bass. Is that this condition or just reacting to unnecessary noise? Upsetting, but then so is breathing in cigarette smoke when you know it’s unhealthy and smelly.


Why can humans control an involuntary action (breathing) but not choose to control your heart rate?

To my understanding you have skeletal muscle that can control your breathing, but smooth and cardiac muscles (which control heart rate) are involuntary. Although, controlling your breathing can actually indirectly control heart rate as well.

If you’re asking why specifically smooth and cardiac muscle can’t be controlled, I’m not entirely sure there’s a 100% accurate answer for that question.

This is a pretty simplified explanation but it might help. Smooth and cardiac muscle are completely controlled by the autonomic nervous system which cannot be consciously controlled. The ANS control center is located in a more primitive location in the brain that receives sensory input and automatically adjusts its output to keep things like blood pressure and body temperature tightly regulated. Skeletal muscle has a much more complicated control mechanism involving involuntary reflexes and postural control as well as voluntary movements and these inputs come from a completely different part of your brain. To add another layer to it there’s interplay between all these brain areas that keep you breathing while not thinking about it but able to take over at any time. When learning neuro physiology it’s often presented as two independent systems, which is somewhat true.

I’ve heard arguments that the ANS can be voluntarily controlled, although that’s still up for debate. It’s possible to slow down your heart rate with a conscious effort but that involves relaxation and meditation type efforts, which would decrease demand from the heart and lower the heart rate. Did you really tell your heart to slow down or did you relax enough to decrease cardiac demand? That’s also an oversimplification of this idea, but more to think about :)

From an evolutionary standpoint, there's a really large incentive to develop refined control over breathing. There are plenty of situations where the conscious, problem-solving portion of the brain should be in charge of it diving underwater, deliberately not inhaling something you think might be dangerous, etc. There's really no reason to waste time and energy developing conscious control over the heartbeat. A heartbeat is something that is much simpler and much more important. It's always going. There's never a reason to hold your heartbeat. And if you did, it would take mere seconds before you passed out, and you're at a pretty significant risk of damaging your brain. That's assuming your heartbeat would automatically resume at this point the way breathing does and you wouldn't outright die. Giving people an internal kill-switch like that would mean people dying at a rate that would easily eliminate that gene. Being seconds away from passing out at any moment you happen to will it is extremely dangerous for the survival of a species.

Being seconds away from passing out at any moment you happen to will it is extremely dangerous for the survival of a species.

Can't dolphins commit suicide by falling asleep with both halves of their brain at the same time?

Let's think about a gene for the ability to consciously control heart rate, vs an allele for the inability to do so.

If you stop your heart, you die pretty quickly under pretty much any circumstances. The ability to consciously control heart rate would allow unfortunate "accidents", and start to die out of the gene pool. We're left with no conscious control.

Now let's think about a gene for the ability to consciously control breathing, vs an allele for the inability to do so.

If you stop breathing briefly, you don't instantly die. And there are many circumstances where someone able to control their breathing will survive, but the someone with the allele which allows no conscious control will die. So the gene allowing conscious control spreads through the gene pool.

Note that people generally don't have a gene allowing perfect control of breathing. Try to hold your breath for long enough, and unconscious systems take over, forcing you to inhale. So, we still have a mechanism to prevent "accidents" due to too much conscious control. The allele for complete conscious control over breathing would gradually die out over time, since a small percentage of carriers would accidentally hold their breath to death.

Breathing is actually unique because it has two separate nerves to control it, one for conscious breathing and one for unconscious. As for why, I think that's more of a philosophical question? I think the most essential life functions are completely involuntary, so they will function whether we are conscious or not (eg, youɽ die if your heart stopped beating when you pass out or fall asleep). Breathing seems to be a function thing - sometimes you need more oxygen, for example if you're running. It would be hard to know when to open and close your mouth or talk if the muscles controlling your lungs were randomly contracting and relaxing to adapt to how much oxygen your body needs.

Disclaimer: This is a greatly simplified explanation of how the nervous system works. If this comment gains traction, I'll get off my lazy ass, consult my anatomy textbook and update it with a highly detailed explanation, but for now, this is the basic idea as to how everything works.

Basically a nerve is a cell that helps transmit an electrical charge from one part to another. There are many different types of nerves for different purposes some are sensory neurons, while others are motor neurons. These different nerve cells make up the nervous system of the human body.

The Nervous System can be divided into two main parts: -Central Nervous System (your brain and spinal cord) -Peripheral Nervous System (anything extending from the spinal cord)

The Central Nervous system is basically the main hub for "processing" and the such. Systems of neurons in the brain allow us to perceive consciousness and have memories.

The Peripheral Nervous System, on the other hand can be broken down into a few more parts that help our body function. These are: -Somatic (allows us to control muscles and processes reflexes) -Autonomic (this controls most of the involuntary functions of our body like heart rate, respiration, etc) -Enteric (division of the autonomic system that controls your gastrointestinal tract)

Furthermore, some organs like the heart have nerves hardwired in. The heart has pacemaker cells in the organ itself that provide a constant pulse for contraction - ie, heartbeat. Reflexes basically occur when a stimulus is processed in the spinal cord and triggers a motor response, instead of traveling all the way to the brain and then back down, like voluntary movements.

So why does this matter? Well, the division of the nervous system and the specialization of certain organs [the mighty heart] allow the body to be pretty self sufficient. Most of the time, your autonomic nervous system is suppressing the pacemaker cells and forcing them to emit slower pulses (resting heart rate). Other muscles, like the diaphragm that controls breathing can be overridden by our consciousness (CNS).

Hopefully that provides some insight as to how the nervous system operates in humans and why we can force ourselves to stop breathing but not force our hearts to stop beating.


Medical experts: Floyd's speech didn't mean he could breathe

MINNEAPOLIS — As George Floyd repeatedly pleaded “I can’t breathe” to police officers holding him down on a Minneapolis street corner, some of the officers responded by pointing out he was able to speak. One told Floyd it takes “a lot of oxygen” to talk, while another told angry bystanders that Floyd was “talking, so he can breathe.”

That reaction -- seen in police restraint deaths around the country -- is dangerously wrong, medical experts say. While it would be right to believe a person who can’t talk also cannot breathe, the reverse is not true – speaking does not imply that someone is getting enough air to survive.

“The ability to speak does not mean the patient is without danger,” said Dr. Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer of the American Heart Association.

“To speak, you only have to move air through the upper airways and the vocal cords, a very small amount,” and that does not mean that enough air is getting down into the lungs where it can supply the rest of the body with oxygen, said Dr. Gary Weissman, a lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.

The false perception that someone who can speak can also take in enough air is not part of any known police training curriculum or practices, according to experts on police training and use of force.

“I’m not aware of any standard training of police officers that lets them know, ‘Hey, if someone is still able to talk they are not having difficulty breathing, so you can just keep doing what you are doing,’” said Craig Futterman, professor at University of Chicago Law School and an expert on use of force.

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 8 minutes, keeping Floyd pinned even after he stopped moving. In the moments before he died, Floyd told police he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times.

A transcript from one of two police body camera videos released Wednesday shows that at one point after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and was being killed, Chauvin said: “ Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

Widely viewed bystander video shows Tou Thao, the officer who was managing people who had gathered, told the concerned crowd, “He’s talking, so he can breathe.”

The medical community disagrees.

In a recent article in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine, Weissman and others wrote that when air is inhaled, it first fills the upper airway, trachea and bronchi, where speech is generated. The article says this “anatomical dead space” accounts for about one third of the volume of an ordinary breath, and only air that gets beyond this space goes to air sacs in the lungs for gas exchange, which is when oxygen is sent to the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is removed as waste.

The volume of an ordinary breath is about 400 to 600 mL, but normal speech requires about 50 mL of gas per syllable, so saying the words “I can’t breathe” would require 150 mL of gas, the authors wrote.

A person can utter words by exhaling alone, using reserve left over after a normal breath is exhaled. But, the article says, “adequate gas exchange to support life requires inhalation. . Waiting until a person loses the ability to speak may be too late to prevent catastrophic cardiopulmonary collapse.”

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said there is nothing in current training that instructs officers that a person who can talk while restrained is able to breathe. He said training surrounding the issue of talking and ability to breathe comes up only when discussing whether someone can speak or cough while choking on a foreign object – and even then, the person’s condition must be reassessed. Chief Medaria Arradondo has also said the restraint used by Chauvin was not taught by his department.

But the misperception that a talking person is able to breathe has also come up in other high-profile in-custody deaths.

Craig McKinnis died in May 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas, after he was restrained by police during a traffic stop. According to a federal lawsuit, McKinnis’ girlfriend said that after McKinnis cried, “I can’t breathe,” one of the officers said, “If you can talk, you can breathe.”

Eric Garner cried out “I can’t breathe” 11 times on a street in Staten Island, New York, in July 2014 after he was arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Video shot by a bystander showed officers and paramedics milling around without any seeming urgency as Garner lay on the street, slowly going limp.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who performed the chokehold, was fired. Pantaleo’s defenders have included Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, who said at the time that police were right to ignore Garner’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

“The fact that he was able to say it meant he could breathe,” said King, the son of a police officer.

“And if you’ve ever seen anyone locked up, anyone resisting arrest, they’re always saying, ‘You’re breaking my arm, you’re killing me, you’re breaking my neck.’ So if the cops had eased up or let him go at that stage, the whole struggle would have started in again.”

Futterman said best practices offer police training on positional asphyxiation and teach officers to roll a person onto his or her side for recovery, if necessary. And, he said, chokeholds or other restraints that restrict oxygen are considered deadly force, and can only be used as a last resort to prevent imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

He said just because a person is struggling does not give an officer the right to use deadly force.

According to a transcript of his interview with state investigators, Thomas Lane, the officer who was at Floyd’s legs, said that he’d had past experiences in which someone who was overdosing would pass out and then come to and be more aggressive. He told investigators that he asked if Floyd should be rolled onto his side, and after Chauvin said they would stay in position, he thought it made sense since an ambulance was on the way. Lane said he watched Floyd and believed he was still breathing.

Randy Shrewberry, executive director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform, said officers are supposed to ease up on any restraint once a person is under control.

“In the moment they are under control, or the moment you have someone restrained, is when everything stops,” Shrewberry said.


Jokes 101

Biology is the study of life. And comedy is the art of laughing at the ups and downs of life. Comedy is a way of inserting humor into the serious. Jokes are often a way to relieve tension and stress.

Learning biology is easy and exciting for some. It’s tough and intimidating for others. Humor unites us all. Some truly funny biology jokes will not just get you laughing but help you learn to enjoy the concepts of life science.

Now, while knowing a couple of biology jokes isn’t going to make you a stand-up comedian, they just might help you remember important key terms and help you ace your next exam.


Help I can’t stop manually breathing

I started talking about breathing and it got me the urge the start the breathe manually and I can’t stop, I can kick it into auto for a small while if I’m focusing on something but as soon as the task is done I just think “That was fun, what was it that I was scared of? Oh yeah breathing” and it switches on again, help

You have to sneeze and fart at the same time to reset.

i think that's for a screenshot

I have done that and I can’t stop the manual farting . Please help.

Modified double pipe classic

Eventually you’ll just forget. I’ve definitely done this before.

Same story for when I remember that I have a tongue

Don’t worry, if you forget to breathe and pass out, it’ll kick in automatically again as soon as you’re unconscious.

That was my thought as well. "Obsessive thoughts" can be a symptom of a couple psychiatric issues. OP should consider seeing a therapist if it's affecting their life. It could be an early warning sign of a more serious issue that could benefit greatly from early professional intervention.

Maybe try zen meditation. Use your manual breathing toward peacefulness instead of anxiety.

U been smoking some of that herbal essence my man ?

Some of that jazz cabbage

i used to have this as a kid a lot. as well as the need for drawers to be shut and re-shut, hands to be washed again and again, doors to be opened and closed, etc. strange? totally. ignorable? not at all. at times it would reach full on debilitating.

this type of obsessive thinking could be symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

sometimes brains do this thing where they have a shortage of GABA (this dope lil chemical that reduces neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.) when you don’t have a lot of this inhibiting receptor controlling all the excitement in your system you can end up actually feeling super anxious. like in your whole body. because your nerves are basically just not being chill.

there’s a lot of different chemical reactions that happen in the brain/ body/ nervous system and different levels of these chemicals have been linked with different symptoms (i.e. low GABA = anxious behavior, high serotonin = lots o happy, release of melatonin = time for snoozes.)

scientists are super smart and have concocted many synthetic versions of these chemicals. they created and tested medications, typically pill form, that balance these chemical reactions. these are prescribed by a doctor/psychiatrist and approved by the FDA.

other types of drugs (marijuana, alcohol, caffeine, psychedelics etc.) also have effects on your brain chemicals. as most of these haven’t been extensively tested yet, they haven’t been approved by the FDA and in some cases are illegal.

certain types of activities or certain types of food also correspond with different levels of these chemicals. for example, if you exercise or eat chocolate you can see a spike in serotonin (the happy chemical.) there’s also a lot of good things that happen chemically when we socialize in a comfortable environment with people we care about. (i am anti-social by nature but have read and heard so many good things about being social i strive to remind myself it is a necessity for truly living life.)

i, personally, have tried many methods to balance the chemicals in my brain but cannot recommend to you which method to try as each brain and its life is different from the next AND i am not a doctor.

but. i can tell you one thing i wish i knew earlier on in life:

taking a drug, whether prescribed by a doctor or found someplace else, enough times, over an extended period of time creates a chemical dependency. your brain learns to expect this supplementation and if you were to discontinue using the drug, your brain will take a bit of time to understand that it needs to make more of this on its own. this can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 years.

i think when seeking treatment for an anxiety disorder/mental health issue it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons of a variety of options. “the side effect of taking this pill is that it makes me lethargic. the side effect of exercise is that my knees hurt and it’s hard work. the side effect of alcohol is that it damages my organs/ causes me to errantly text my ex boob pics. the side effect of psychedelics is that they’re illegal.”

and then take/do/eat/partake in whatever works for you without causing you too much harm in side effects. research and test and over time you will find the balance.

facing your fears is a really scary method to rebalancing brain chemicals but it can be of great help. try talking yourself through it rather than trying to avoid thinking about it. “brain. look. i get it. you’ve decided to focus on breathing to the point that it’s ridiculous, frustrating and making me feel panicky. you can do that if you want. but i’m not gonna let myself be scared of you doing that anymore. if it happens? and? so what? this too shall pass. i will let go of this being afraid of this feeling. breathing is a function that keeps me living and the body’s got that handled well enough on its own so that i can use you, brain, for important things. and if i notice it again i will smile for it will be a reminder of that time i faced and conquered my fear.”


From Grunting To Gabbing: Why Humans Can Talk

As humans evolved, our throats got longer and our mouths got smaller -- physiological changes that enabled us to effectively shape and control sound. According to fossils, the first humans who had an anatomy capable of speech patterns appeared about 50,000 years ago. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

As humans evolved, our throats got longer and our mouths got smaller -- physiological changes that enabled us to effectively shape and control sound. According to fossils, the first humans who had an anatomy capable of speech patterns appeared about 50,000 years ago.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Most of us do it every day without even thinking about it, yet talking is a uniquely human ability. Not only do humans have evolved brains that process and produce language and syntax, but we also can make a range of sounds and tones that we use to form hundreds of thousands of words.

To make these sounds -- and talk -- humans use the same basic apparatus that chimps have: lungs, throat, voice box, tongue and lips. But we're the ones singing opera and talking on the phone. That is because over thousands of years, humans have evolved a longer throat and smaller mouth better suited for shaping sound.

Vocal Acrobatics

Humans have flexibility in the mouth, tongue and lips that lets us form a wide range of precise sounds that chimps simply can't produce, and some have developed this complex voice instrument more than others. Take opera tenor Gran Wilson. He has toured the world singing and now teaches at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Towson University. In a split second, Wilson can go from his talking voice to full vibrato, enunciating each sound with graceful clarity as his voice fills the room.

He can do that because of his exceptional control of the Rube Goldberg-like apparatus that makes speech -- from lungs to larynx to lips. It works like this: When we talk or sing, we release controlled puffs of air from our lungs through our larynx, or voice box. The larynx is about the size of a walnut. In men, you can see it -- it's the Adam's apple. It's mostly made up of cartilage and muscle.

Stretched across the top are the vocal chords, which are two folds of mucous membrane. When we expel air from the lungs and push it through the larynx, the vocal chords vibrate, making the sound.

"The surface area of the chords that's actually vibrating is probably half of your smallest fingernail -- a very small amount of flesh buzzing," Wilson says.

Humans have flexibility in the mouth, tongue and lips that lets us form a wide range of precise sounds. Courtesy of Mike Gasser/Indiana University hide caption

The frequency of this buzzing is what gives sound the pitch. We change the pitch by tightening the vocal chords to make our voice higher and loosening them to make a lower sound.

"If you take a balloon and blow it up, you can manipulate the pitch by pulling the neck," Wilson says. The same principle applies to our vocal chords.

The vibrating air gets made into a specific sound -- like an ee or ah or tuh or puh -- by how we shape our throat, mouth, tongue and lips. Fusing these sounds together to form words and sentences is a complex dance. It requires an enormous amount of fine motor control.

"Speech, by the way, is the most complex motor activity that any person acquires -- except [for] maybe violinists or acrobats. It takes about 10 years for children to get to the adult levels," says Dr. Philip Lieberman, a professor of cognitive and linguistic science at Brown University who has studied the evolution of speech for more than five decades.

How We Got Here

Lieberman says that, looking back at human evolution, it's evident that after humans diverged from an early ape ancestor, the shape of the vocal tract changed. Over 100,000 years ago, the human mouth started getting smaller and protruding less. We developed a more flexible tongue that could be controlled more precisely, and a longer neck.

The reason the neck started getting longer, Lieberman says, is that the tongue moved down, pulling the larynx lower, requiring more room for it all in the neck. "The first time we see human skulls -- fossils -- that have everything in place is about 50,000 years ago where the neck is long enough, the mouth is short enough, that they could have had a vocal tract like us," he says.

But with these important changes came a new risk.

"The downside of this was that because you're pulling the larynx all the way down, when you eat, all the food has to go past the larynx -- and miss it -- and get into the esophagus," Lieberman says. "That's why people choke to death."

So we evolved this crazy airway that allows us to choke to death more efficiently -- all to further our ability to make more sounds and speak.

Controlled Breath

These changes didn't evolve overnight, but it's hard to pinpoint when we moved beyond primitive grunts and started talking. Fossils can only tell us so much about the shape of the vocal tract because much of it is soft tissue. But we can see what the human vocal tract shape has allowed us to do that our primate relatives can't.


Watch the video: Laryngospasm: Sudden, Terrifying Difficulty Breathing (February 2023).