Neural Mechanisms of Interactive Communication: From Bird Cage to Bedside

  • Speaker
  • Michael A. Long, Ph.D.Thomas and Suzanne Murphy Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine
Date & Time

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Vocal communication is central to our everyday lives, facilitating social exchange. Despite significant recent discoveries, the neural mechanisms underlying coordinated vocal exchanges remain poorly understood.

In this Presidential Lecture, Michael Long will examine the brain processes involved in interactive vocal behaviors with a focus on forebrain circuitry in the human brain as well as a range of animal models that share specific communication abilities with us — including the parrot, the zebra finch, and a Costa Rican vocalizing rodent. Using this comparative approach, Long will attempt to identify conserved principles of brain function and uncover circuit dynamics critical for interactive language use.

About the Speaker

Long is the Thomas and Susanne Murphy Professor of Neuroscience and vice chair for research at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He completed his graduate studies at Brown University, where he investigated the role of electrical synapses in the mammalian brain. During his postdoctoral work at MIT, Long began to study the songbird model system to uncover the cellular and network properties that give rise to learned vocal sequences. Since beginning his laboratory in 2010, Long has expanded his scope, leading to investigations into a range of vocalizing species, including humans.

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