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  1. Alicia E. Meuret

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0425

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Meuret, A. E. 2010. Hyperventilation. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. Southern Methodist University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Hyperventilation (or hypocapnia) refers to a state of reduced carbon dioxide in the blood. It is usually triggered by breathing too deeply or rapidly, in excess of the metabolic demand. The end result is that alveolar and arterial carbon dioxide (CO2) pressures decrease and blood pH increases. Sustained hyperventilation produces a variety of adverse changes, including a diminished ability for oxygen to pass from the blood to the organism's cells.


  • panic;
  • breathing;
  • hypocapnia