Laboratory and Team

The following frequently asked questions focus on the broad goals and objectives of the TCNL. Please read to learn more about the TCNL.

  1. What is the TCNL, and what is its primary focus? 
  2. Who are the scientists who work at TCNL? 
  3. What are the TCNL's major goals? 
  4. Can you get medical treatment at TCNL? 
  5. How is TCNL connected to the BrainPort balance device and Wicab, Inc.? 
  6. How is TCNL connected to Helius Medical Technologies? 

What is TCNL, and what is its primary focus? 

We are a research laboratory called the Tactile Communication & Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (TCNL) that focuses on the brain’s ability to reorganize in response to new information, needs, and pathways. Our research is aimed at developing solutions for sensory and motor disorders.

Who are the scientists who work at TCNL? 

Our team is led by three distinguished scientists, Yuri Danilov, Kurt Kaczmarek, and Mitchell Tyler, each of whom has more than 20 years of experience in their respective fields of neuroscience, biomedical science, and engineering.

What are TCNL's major goals? 

Our major goal is to design interventions to help people with sensory and neurological disorders regain function. Our aim is to enhance the rehabilitation process by making the neuroplastic changes that occur during therapy more substantial and efficient; to enable new therapies for conditions with no, or few options; to transfer the site of rehabilitation from the clinic to the home; and to provide hope for individuals who have no hope.

Can you get medical treatment at TCNL? 

No, the TCNL is not a medical clinic and does not provide treatment. All TCNL research is just that — research. Depending on the specific goals of our research program, we sometimes need participants with certain symptoms and/or medical diagnosis for specific projects. If you have specific questions about our research, please contact us through the website.

How is TCNL connected to the BrainPort balance device and Wicab, Inc.? 

Wicab, Inc., a high-tech medical device spin-off company spun off from UW-Madison research, was founded by Paul Bach-y-Rita and Mitchell Tyler. It licenses key technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), which is the intellectual property manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The inventors of the core tongue tactile display technology, Tongue-placed tactile output device, (US Patent 6,430,450), are Bach-y-Rita and Kurt Kaczmarek. The first prototype of this technology is the Tongue Display Unit (TDU), a general-purpose research and demonstration tool developed by Kaczmarek in 1999 at TCNL and still used for research at several laboratories. Tyler, Kaczmarek, and Yuri Danilov developed the first sensory substitution applications using the TDU. The Wicab BrainPort™ devices represent the licensed, commercial implementation of sensory substitution technology on the tongue, first demonstrated using the TDU. 

How is TCNL connected to Helius Medical Technologies?

Helius Medical Technologies, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NeuroHabilitation Corporation, is further developing technologies originally developed at TCNL, and conducting clinical trials under identifier NCT02429167. For further details please contact Helius directly. 

TCNL is separate from Helius and cannot provide any further information regarding Helius. Please contact Helius directly for further information. Disclosure: The TCNL co-directors (Yuri Danilov, Kurt Kaczmarek, Mitch Tyler) each have a financial interest in Helius and are consultants to Helius. Tyler is a Director of Helius. Kim Skinner is an employee of Helius. 

Our Projects

Click here to see a list of our projects.