Lab Members

Michael Long

Principal Investigator
Michael Long studies the neural circuits that underlie complex behavior. He trained with Barry Connors (Brown University) and Michale Fee (MIT). His laboratory examines brain networks during the perception or production of skilled movements (often vocalizations) with a special interest in understanding the cellular and network properties that contribute to these behaviors.

Gregg Castellucci

Postdoctoral Associate
Gregg studies how the brain generates rhythmic motor sequences, and is especially interested in
the production of human speech and animal vocalizations. In 2017, he completed a joint PhD in
linguistics and neuroscience at Yale University under the direction of Stephen R. Anderson and David McCormick. In the McCormick Lab, he investigated the biological and genetic basis for
ultrasonic vocalization in house mice. He then joined the laboratory of Janghoo Lim in the Yale
Department of Genetics, where he studied the neurobiological mechanisms of pathological
articulatory variability in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. In the Long lab, Gregg uses human
intracranial electrophysiology to examine the role of IFG and sensorimotor brain regions in
generating speech.

Castellucci GA, McGinley MJ, McCormick DA (2017). Foxp2 knockout disrupts vocal
development in mice. Sci Rep, srep23305.

Castellucci GA, Calbick D, McCormick DA (in review). The temporal organization of mouse
ultrasonic vocalizations.

Margot Elmaleh

Graduate Student
Margot did her undergraduate work with Barry Connors, where she completed her honors thesis exploring interneuron connectivity in the superficial layers of mouse medial prefrontal cortex with paired intracellular recordings. After helping characterize mouse models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with Dr. Neil Shneider post graduation, she moved to NYU and helped Jayeeta Basu start her new lab. In the Basu Lab, she studied hippocampal back projections to the entorhinal cortex, using optogenetics and whole cell patching in vitro. Margot is currently a graduate student investigating motor learning in the zebra finch.

Sharma A, Lyashchenko AK, Lu L, Nasrabady SE, Elmaleh M, Mendelsohn M, Nemes A, Tapia JC, Mentis GZ, Shneider NA (2016). ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function. Nat Commun, 7:10465.

Cruikshank SJ, Ahmed OJ, Stevens TR, Patrick SL, Gonzalez AN, Elmaleh M, Connors BW (2012). Thalamic control of layer 1 circuits in prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci, 32(49):17813-23.

Yuki Fujishima

Research Associate
Yuki is a research associate in the Long lab, passionate about understanding neural mechanisms underlying social and cognitive behavior. He went to Kyushu University School of Medicine, where he grew his interest in psychiatry/neuroscience and worked on MEG research on schizophrenia. Yuki also interned in the Spencer lab at Harvard Medical School to study neural oscillations of individuals with schizophrenia and built a pipeline to improve EEG localization. After obtaining an M.D. from Kyushu University and briefly working as a medical doctor, he joined the Long lab to further train in neuroscience research and pursue knowledge creation. He is fascinated to investigate how behavior is made possible at the neural circuit level.

Elnaz (Ellie) Hozhabri

Graduate Student

Ellie is a graduate student in the Long lab, focusing on the functional connectivity within HVC that enables zebra finches to produce such a beautifully precise sequence of song. She was born in Tehran but grew up in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from UT Austin, as a Neuroscience and Biology major with a French minor. Before joining NYU, she studied fear memory circuits in the Drew lab at UT Austin, and later joined the Taniguchi lab at the Max Planck Florida Institute to study the development and integration of chandelier cells into cortical circuits.

Steinecke A, Hozhabri E, Tapanes S, Ishino Y, Zeng H, Kamasawa N, Taniguchi H (2017). Neocortical chandelier cells developmentally shape axonal arbors through reorganization but establish subcellular synapse specificity without refinement. eNeuro, 4(3), ENEURO.0057-17.2017.

Kinga Kocsis

Postdoctoral Associate

Kinga is driven to learn about how neuronal networks orchestrate behavioral responses upon the extraction of ethologically relevant temporal sound patterns. As part of her PhD, she worked on temperature-coupled rhythmic activities in the thalamocortical network with Péter Barthó, and the aversive cue processing of the lateral thalamo-amygdala route with Ferenc Mátyás in Budapest. Here, she also examined aversive ultrasonic vocalizations in adult lab mice, which she carried on in the bioacoustics masters organized by the ENES lab in Saint Étienne. As an intern in Andrea Ravignani’s lab at the MPI in Nijmegen, she characterized percussive behavior in harbor seal interactions. In the Long Lab, Kinga studies the sensorimotor transformations of interactive vocal behavior in singing mice.


Barsy B*, Kocsis K*, Magyar A, Babiczky Á, Szabó M, Veres MJ, Hillier D, Ulbert I, Yizhar O, Mátyás F (2020): Associative and plastic thalamic signaling to the lateral amygdala controls fear behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 23(5): 625-637.

Csernai M*, Borbély S*, Kocsis K*, Burka D, Fekete Z, Balogh V, Káli Sz, Emri Zs, Barthó P (2019): Dynamics of sleep oscillations is coupled to brain temperature on multiple scales. Journal of Physiology, 597(15), 4069-4086.

Szeniczey T, et al. (2019): Hyperostosis frontalis interna in ancient populations – A possible new way to the life-style reconstruction. International Journal of Paleopathology, vol. 24, pp. 108-118.

Mátyás F*, Komlósi G*, Babiczky Á, Kocsis K, Barthó P, Barsy B, Dávid Cs, Kanti V, Porrero C, Magyar A, Szűcs I, Clasca F, Acsády L (2018): A highly collaterized thalamic cell type with arousal predicting activity serves as a key hub for graded state transitions in the forebrain. Nature Neuroscience, 21(11): 1551-1562.

Fekete Z,Csernai M, Kocsis K, Horváth ÁC, Pongrácz A, Barthó P (2017): Simultaneous in vivo recording of local brain temperature and electrophysiological signals with a novel neural probe. Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol.14,3.

Horváth ÁC, Kocsis K, Csernai M, Barthó P, Fekete Z (2016): A Novel Neural Probe for Simultaneous Electrical Recording and Local Thermal Control in Sleep Spindle Oscillation Studies. Procedia Engineering, Vol.168, pp.109-112.

*shared first authorship

Mac MacKay

Undergraduate Researcher
Mac is a presidential honors undergraduate student at NYU. His interest in neuroscience is rooted in his love of science as well as his personal journey living with a neurological speech disorder. Mac has previously interned at a gene therapy company that focused on CNS disorders and conducted research on food insecurity at the Manhattan VA Hospital Medical Center. The past year, he has helped found the Brain and Spine Scholars which is a high school internship program operated through NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine which is aimed to promote inclusion, diversity, and equity within the field of neurosurgery. In the Long Lab, Mac is currently working on his senior thesis, which involves analyzing neural recordings and their relation to patient speech behavior.

Abby Paulson


Abby grew up in Canada where she studied architecture (BES University of Manitoba) and fine art (BFA University of Alberta). Previous to joining the Long lab, she was the lab manager and technician in Dr. Mitchell Chesler’s lab for six years where she was introduced to the fascinating study of the brain. Additionally, she has immersed herself in online courses, studying the brain, chemistry, and genetics. In the Long lab, she is delighted to be learning all about singing mice, zebra finches, and budgies.

Matt Phillips

Postdoctoral Associate
Matt is interested in understanding how biophysical features of individual neurons, such as ion channel profile, synaptic organization, and cellular morphology, contribute to information processing at the circuit and population levels. Matt completed his PhD working in the lab of Dr. Jon Johnson at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, where he utilized electrophysiology and computational techniques to study the interplay between gating and block of NMDA receptors. In the Long Lab, Matt aims to investigate and compare the biophysical underpinnings of neural circuits that govern ethologically relevant behaviors in the zebra finch and Scotinomys teguina.


Phillips MB, Nigam A, Johnson JW (2020). Interplay between Gating and Block of Ligand-Gated Ion Channels. Brain Sci., 10(12):928.

Krall RF, Moutal A, Phillips MB, Asraf H, Johnson JW, Khanna R, Hershfinkel M, Aizenman E, Tzounopoulos T (2020).Synaptic zinc inhibition of NMDA receptors depends on the association of GluN2A with the zinc transporter ZnT1. Sci Adv., 6(27):eabb1515.

Leiva R, Phillips MB, Turcu AL, Gratacòs-Batlle E, León-García L, Sureda FX, Soto D, Johnson JW, Vázquez S (2018). Pharmacological and Electrophysiological Characterization of Novel NMDA Receptor Antagonists. ACS Chem Neurosci., 9(11):2722-2730.

Zetian Yang

Postdoctoral Associate

Zetian was drawn into neuroscience by wondering how physical neural systems accomplish phenomena that seem immaterial. Pursuing this interest, he has studied primate brains, first in humans at a coarse scale and then in nonhuman primates at a fine scale. Now in the Long lab, he switches his attention to the birds, which have drastically different brains from those of primates, but show a level of intelligence on par.


Yang, Z., and Freiwald, W. A. (2021). Joint encoding of facial identity, orientation, gaze, and expression in the middle dorsal face area. PNAS

Yang, Z., Zhen, Z., Huang, L., Kong, X., Wang, X., Song, Y., and Liu, J. (2016). Neural Univariate Activity and Multivariate Pattern in the Posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus Differentially Encode Facial Expression and Identity. Sci Rep

Zhen, Z.*, Yang, Z.*, Huang, L., Kong, X.-Z., Wang, X., Dang, X., Huang, Y., Song, Y., and Liu, J. (2015). Quantifying interindividual variability and asymmetry of face-selective regions: A probabilistic functional atlas. NeuroImage


Lyn Archer Ackert-Smith
Research Assistant: 2021-2022
Graduate Student (Northwestern University, Neuroscience)

Arkarup Banerjee
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2016-2020
Faculty: Cold Spring Harbor

Ariadna Corredera Asensio
Research Assistant: 2020-2022
Graduate Student (NYU, Neuroscience)

Sam Benezra
Graduate Student: 2010-2016
Scientist I (Biogen)

Aimee Chow
Lab Manager: 2014-2016
Administrative Assistant (NYU Langone)

Rachel Clary
Research Assistant: 2012-2014

Robert Egger
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2016-2020
Biomedical Data Scientist: ‎PathAI

Celine Joiris
Undergraduate: 2010-2012
Postdoctoral (Duke: Glickfeld lab)

Madeleine ‘Maddy’ Junkins
Lab Manager: 2016-2018
Graduate Student (Yale University, Neuroscience)


Kalman ‘Vigi’ Katlowitz
Graduate Student: 2014-2018
Neurosurgery residency (Baylor College of Medicine)

Georg Kosche
Graduate Student: 2012-2016
Postdoctoral (FMI: Botond Roska)

Devorah Kranz
Research Associate: 2018-2020
Graduate Student (Harvard University, Neuroscience)

Felix Moll
Postdoctoral: 2016-2021
Senior Research (University of Tübingen)

Daniel Okobi
Graduate Student: 2011-2015
Neurology residency (UCLA)

Michel Picardo
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2013-2016
Faculty (INMED, Neuroscience)

Brandon Robinson
Research Assistant: 2010-2012
Graduate Student (University of Washington, Physics)

Daniela Vallentin
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2010-2016
Faculty: Max Planck Institute for Ornithology