Bill J. Yates, PhD

  • Professor, Otolaryngology, Neuroscience




Personal Website

website link

Education & Training

PhD, University of Florida (1986)


519 Eye & Ear Institute

Research Interest Summary

Vestibular influences on autonomic control and navigation.

Professor Yates' research focuses on the role of the vestibular system in the maintenance of homeostasis, the function of the vestibular system in spatial cognition, and plasticity within the vestibular system following damage to the inner ear. Vestibular receptors detect linear and angular acceleration imposed on the head, and thus provide signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that indicate head position and the direction and velocity of head movements. By integrating vestibular inputs with signals from receptors in the neck, trunk, and limbs, the central nervous system can differentiate head and whole-body movements and thus produce appropriate compensatory responses. Vestibular effects on respiratory motoneurons, on sympathetic neurons that regulate circulation, and on CNS neurons that mediate spatial cognition are the major concern of the laboratory. We are also interested in the mechanisms responsible for recovery of function following loss of vestibular inputs.

The majority of the current research utilizes electrophysiological and neuroanatomical approaches to characterize the neuronal circuitry that relays vestibular signals to spinal motoneurons, sympathetic preganglionic neurons, and CNS regions that mediate spatial cognition. Furthermore, we are examining the effects of stimulation or lesioning the vestibular system on respiration and circulation, to gain a better understanding of the role of the vestibular system in maintaining homeostasis during movement, changes in posture, and exposure to unusual gravitational environments (such as during space travel). Other experiments are exploring the role of the vestibular system in spatial cognition as well as "sensory substitution" that explains recovery of function following vestibular system lesions. Finally, we are interested in the physiological basis of an aberrant autonomic effect that can result from vestibular stimulation: motion sickness.

Miller, Derek Michael and Joshi, Asmita and Kambouroglos, Emmanuel T and Engstrom, Isaiah C and Bielanin, John P and Wittman, Samuel Robert and McCall, Andrew A. and Barman, Susan M. and Yates, Bill J (2019) Responses of Neurons in the Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla (RVLM) of Conscious Cats to Anticipated and Passive Movements. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. PMID: 31940234 DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00205.2019


Nanivadekar AC, Miller DM, Fulton S, Wong L, Ogren J, et al. (2019) Machine learning prediction of emesis and gastrointestinal state in ferrets. PLOS ONE 14(10): e0223279.


Miller, DM; Joshi, A; Kambouroglos, ET; Engstrom, IC; Bielanin, JP; Wittman, SR; McCall, AA; Barman, SM; Yates, BJ. Responses of neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) of conscious felines to anticipated and passive movements. bioRxiv 693408, 2019. doi:


Patel, NM; Baker, EAG; Wittman, SR; Engstrom, IC; Bourdages, GH; McCall, AA; Miller, DM. and Yates, B.J. Cardiovascular adjustments during anticipated postural changes. Physiol. Rep. 6(1): e13554, 2018.


Barman, SM; Yates, BJ. Deciphering the neural control of sympathetic nerve activity: Status report and directions for future research. Front. Neurosci. 11:730, 2017.


McCall, AA; Miller, DM; Yates, BJ. Descending influences on vestibulospinal and vestibulosympathetic reflexes. Front. Neurol. 8:112, 2017.


Yates, B.J.  Strategies to increase rigor and reproducibility of data in manuscripts.  J. Neurophysiol. 116: 1538, 2016
Research Regulatory Compliance. Suckow, M.A. and Yates, B. J. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2015.
Horn, C.C. and Yates, B.J. Biology and control of nausea and vomiting 2015: Perspectives and overview of the conference. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical 202: 3-4, 2017.

Yates, B.J. The evolution of a distinguished neuroscience journal: a progress report.  J. Neurophysiolol. 114: 1483–1485, 2015.


Rice, C.D., Weber, S.A., Waggoner, A.L., Jessell, M.E. and Yates, B.J. Neural pathways that influence diaphragm activity and project to the lumbar spinal cord in cats. Exp. Brain Res. 203: 205_211, 2010.


Badami, V.M., Rice, C.D., Lois, J.H., Madrecha, J. and Yates, B.J. Distribution of hypothalamic neurons with orexin (hypocretin) or melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) immunoreactivity and multisynaptic connections with diaphragm motoneurons. Brain Res. 1323: 119-126, 2010.


Yates, B.J. and Miller, D.M. Integration of nonlabyrinthine inputs by the vestibular system: role in compensation following bilateral damage to the inner ear. J. Vestib. Res. 19: 183-189, 2009.


Yavorcik, K.J., Reighard, D.A., Misra, S.P., Cotter, L.A., Cass, S.P., Wilson, T.D., and Yates, B.J. Effects of postural changes and removal of vestibular inputs on blood flow to and from the hindlimb of conscious felines. Am. J. Physiol. 297: R1777_R1784, 2009.


Rice, C.D., Lois, J.H., Kerman, I.A., and Yates, B.J. Localization of serotoninergic neurons that participate in regulating diaphragm activity in the cat. Brain Res. 1279: 71-81, 2009.


Lois, J.H., Rice, C.D., and Yates, B.J. Neural circuits that control diaphragm function in the cat revealed by transneuronal tracing. J. Appl. Physiol. 106: 138-152, 2009.