The control of ventilatory responses to mild or moderate dynamic exercise has been the subject of considerable debate for over a century. The prevailing view has been that the ventilatory response to exercise is stereotypical and rather unmalleable. However, paradigms involving novel associations of stimulus inputs have been shown to modulate breathing in short and longer time scales. The scope of this review includes examples of modified ventilatory responses to exercise which have been investigated in terms of neural mechanisms. An attempt to synthesise the available data into a model of neuromodulation is presented.