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Even though we cannot survive for more than few minutes if we stop breathing or if our heart stops, why is it so that our heart beat is controlled involuntarily while breathing can be voluntarily controlled to a certain extent. I just noticed that blinking of eyes also falls in this category; though we involuntarily blink and our eyelids close involuntarily in bright light, there is still voluntary modulation. What kind of evolutionary changes and natural selection could have led to these kind of voluntary modulations i.e. cortical control over these processes?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by WYSIWYG, fileunderwater, terdon, dustin, MattDMo Apr 28 '15 at 14:36

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps to make tasks like eating and speaking possible. Note that you cannot voluntarily stop breathing indefinitely. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Apr 28 '15 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ You already know why these processes cannot be voluntary. There is some level of voluntary control on breathing but it is overall involuntary. So if that is your question then you should note what @canadianer said. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 28 '15 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ evolution does not have consciousness or will. It does not make choices. Living beings are formed through mutations, natural selection,genetic drift etc. $\endgroup$ – Nandor Poka Apr 28 '15 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG involuntary and unconsiously doing something is different. $\endgroup$ – 9Heads Apr 28 '15 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ @DivyaPrakash they more or less mean the same. Moreover I never mentioned the word "unconscious". $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 28 '15 at 12:40