The Sensory Perception Respiration Chair measures and amplifies the participant’s breathing pattern. With this chair, inspired and expired breath is translated to the motion of large feather fans that alternately open wide or close around the participant. Feather fans orient attention to the fractal nature of the branching pathways of the lungs. Breathing is detected via analog amplification of changes in center of gravity in the chair. The amplified signal is directed to control the movement of fans, sounds and light sources.
When inhaling, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, thus increasing volume in the chest cavity. This action is aided by the intercostal muscles between the ribs that contract to pull the rib cage both up and out to support increasing volume in the chest cavity The lungs expand into this increasing space. As the lungs expand, air is pulled in through the nose and/or mouth and travels down the windpipe and into the lungs, bronchial tubes and finally, the alveoli. Oxygen, from the inspired air, passes to the capillaries through the walls of the alveoli. The capillaries hold traveling red blood cells that carry hemoglobin that acts to support the transfer of oxygen to the blood. Simultaneously, carbon dioxide moves from the capillaries to the alveoli.
When exhaling, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles relax and the diaphragm moves up into the chest cavity. As the volume in the chest cavity reduces the expired air, now rich in carbon dioxide, is forced out of the lungs through the nose and/or mouth. Unlike inspiration, exhalation generally requires no muscular effort from your body. However, when exercising, abdominal muscles can contract to push the diaphragm against the lungs to help force air out of the body.