The pontine respiratory group (PRG) facilitates the mechanism for terminating the inspiratory phase but may influence other phases in the respiratory cycle as well. We determined the effects of PRG lesions on the response of the respiratory cycle to superior laryngeal nerve stimulation delivered in each phase of the cycle in decerebrate, vagotomized, paralyzed, and ventilated cats (n = 6). We measured the duration of inspiration (TI) and expiration (TE) for three breaths before and in the perturbed breath and TI for three breaths after the perturbation. The delay to next inspiration was plotted against the phase at which the stimulus was delivered. Before lesioning, premature inspiratory termination was followed by phase-dependent shortening of TE. After lesioning, premature inspiratory termination did not systematically change the following TE. Breath-by-breath variability (measured 50 breaths) increased and stimulus after-effects (prolonged TI in the subsequent cycle) were augmented following lesions. These data indicate that the PRG plays an important role in the control of TE after perturbation and in the stability of the respiratory central pattern generator.