Medical Dictionary

Hering–Breuer reflex

noun Her·ing–Breu·er reflex \ˈher-iŋ-ˈbrȯi-ər-\

Medical Definition of Hering–Breuer reflex

  1. :  any of several reflexes that control inflation and deflation of the lungs; especially :  reflex inhibition of inspiration triggered by pulmonary muscle spindles upon expansion of the lungs and mediated by the vagus nerve

Biographical Note for hering–breuer reflex



Karl Ewald Konstantin

(1834–1918), German physiologist and psychologist. Hering is known for his great influence on contemporary sense physiology and the evolution of modern psychology, especially Gestalt psychology. His early research was on binocular vision. From 1861 to 1864 he published a five-part study on visual space perception. In 1868 with Josef Breuer he discovered the reflex reaction that originates in the lungs and is mediated by the fibers of the vagus nerve and that is now known as the Hering-Breuer reflex. In a series of papers published between 1872 and 1875 he presented his theory of color vision. From that time onward, he devoted most of his career to studying color phenomena.




(1842–1925), Austrian physician and physiologist. A major forerunner of psychoanalysis, Breuer is famous for relieving the patient “Anna O.” of her hysteria by inducing her to recall, while under hypnosis, traumatic experiences of her early life. He reached the critical insight that neurotic symptoms derive from unconscious processes and that the symptoms can disappear when the processes are made conscious. Sigmund Freud was an early colleague of Breuer, and in 1895 the two men wrote a book on hysteria in which Breuer's method of psychotherapy was described. In 1868 with Karl Hering he described the Hering-Breuer reflex.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Hering–Breuer reflex? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!