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Don Noble, PhDInstructor


Don Noble is an Instructor in the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University, following his role as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Emory’s Department of Physiology. He received his BS in Neuroscience from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2008, and his PhD in Neuroscience from Emory in 2016. Dr. Noble’s academic interests include understanding fundamental sensory processes that contribute to the benefits of meditation, with an emphasis on slow, deep breathing. For his PhD, he developed an animal model of the relaxation response by using operant conditioning to train rodents to slow their breathing, and pursued the idea that patterned activation of mechanically sensitive lung afferents can shift autonomic balance, decrease stress and pain, and improve performance. As a Postdoc, he pioneered remote respiratory recordings to investigate breathing deficits in the context of chronic pain after traumatic injury. Dr. Noble is passionate about integrating these ideas across fields, and adapting them to educational curricula that explore alternative and sometimes unconventional approaches to enhance well-being. His research publications to date have focused on the functions and mechanisms of slow, deep breathing as a voluntary portal to autonomic nervous system control, while ongoing physio-behavioral studies in a rodent model of the ‘quantified self’ seek to elucidate how the simple, repetitive act of breathing can powerfully modulate mental states.


  • BS in Neuroscience, University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • PhD in Neuroscience, Emory University

Recent Press

Don Noble: Harnessing the Breath for Health and Well-Being”, Health is Everything™ from, May 6, 2021.

How Slow, Deep Breathing Taps Into A Natural Rhythm In Our Bodies, Discover Magazine, March 16, 2021.

Are breathing techniques good for your health?The Guardian-Observer, July 12, 2020.

Why slowing your breathing helps you relaxBBC Worklife, March 3, 2020.

Zaraska, Marta. Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. Appetite by Random House, 2020.

Recent Publications

  • Noble, D.J., Dongmo, R., Parvin, S., Martin, K.K., & Garraway, S.M. (2022). C-low threshold mechanoreceptor activation becomes sufficient to trigger affective pain in spinal cord-injured mice in association with increased respiratory rates. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.
  • Martin, K.K., Noble, D.J., Parvin, S., Jang, K., & Garraway, S.M. (2022). Pharmacogenetic inhibition of TrkB signaling in adult mice attenuates mechanical hypersensitivity and improves locomotor function after spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Sep 26;16:987236.
  • Noble, D. J., & Hochman, S. (2019). Hypothesis: Pulmonary Afferent Activity Patterns During Slow, Deep Breathing Contribute to the Neural Induction of Physiological Relaxation. Frontiers in Physiology, 10(September), 1176.
  • Noble, D. J., Martin, K. K., Parvin, S., & Garraway, S. M. (2019). Spontaneous and Stimulus-Evoked Respiratory Rate Elevation Corresponds to Development of Allodynia in Spinal Cord-Injured Rats. Journal of Neurotrauma, 36(12), 1909–1922.
  • Noble, D. J., Goolsby, W. N., Garraway, S. M., Martin, K. K., & Hochman, S. (2017). Slow breathing can be operantly conditioned in the rat and may reduce sensitivity to experimental stressors. Frontiers in Physiology, 8(OCT), 1–16.
  • Noble, D. J., MacDowell, C. J., McKinnon, M. L., Neblett, T. I., Goolsby, W. N., & Hochman, S. (2017). Use of electric field sensors for recording respiration, heart rate, and stereotyped motor behaviors in the rodent home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 277, 88–100.