Tactile Communication and
Neurorehabilitation Laboratory
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Department of Biomedical Engineering



Founded in 1992, the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (TCNL) is lo­ca­ted at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. We are a research center that uses the experi­ence of many different areas of science to study the theory and application of applied neuro­plasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize in response to new information, needs, and pathways. The aim of our research is the development of solutions for sensory and motor disorders. Our center has three core areas that form the backbone of our research: neuromodulation, sensory substitution, and electrotactile stimulation.

Our Goal

We are committed to enhancing the rehabilitation process. We envision a future with a faster and more complete rehabilitation from sensory and motor disorders. We strive to improve existing therapies and develop new ones for conditions, which, in the past, had few or no options. Based on the work of our founder Paul Bach-y-Rita, M.D., the originator of the line of our current research, we believe that neuroplasticity is at the heart of all successful neurorehabi­litation. Learn more about it in the Laboratory, Projects, and Library sections.

Mixed Feelings by Linda Feferman was featured in Wired Science. This video shows techno­logy that started at the TCNL and is now in FDA clinical trials for commercialization. It also provides a brief history of our laboratory and our research. Watch more videos about neuro­plasticity in the Library section.

Electrical Stimulation of Touch for Rehabilitation

Kurt Kaczmarek at the Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series, March 22, 2010.

Play Video

The Amazing Plastic Brain and How It Grew a Business

Mitchell Tyler at the Bascom Hill Society Showcase Series, July 28, 2009.

Play Video

The Brain That Changes Itself

Norman Doidge, M.D.

Brain Mechanisms in Sensory Substitution

Paul Bach-y-Rita, M.D.

My Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain

Sharon Begley