TCNL was founded by Paul Bach-y-Rita, the notable doctor and researcher. Dr. Bach-y-Rita pioneered the field of neuroplasticity. His revolutionary research proved that the brain is capable of changing itself and led to his progressive approach to the study and treatment of many sensory and neurological disorders.
Dr. Bach-y-Rita came to the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1983 and established a research program that evolved into what is now the TCNL, and his bold vision continues to inspire our work today. Our mission is to explore the limitless capabilities of the brain to rewire itself and to use this untapped potential to help individuals with various disorders such as stroke, blindness, multiple sclerosis and others regain function.
Our team includes scientists and engineers who are passionately dedicated to research and innovation in the field of neuroplasticity. We are led by three project directors, each of whom has more than 20 years of experience in their respective fields of neuroscience, biomedical science, and engineering. The scope of our teams’ expertise have allowed us to unveil the boundless and previously unimagined capabilities of the human brain and to bring the theory of neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation to practice.
Our research is driven by the principle that the brain circuitry is not hardwired or fixed, but can be reorganized in response to new experiences, sensory input, and functional demands. This area of research is called neuroplasticity and is a promising and rapidly growing area of brain research.
Our objectives are to design interventions to help people with sensory and neurological disorders regain function. We explore how touch can substitute for other lost senses such as vision or balance, which is called sensory substitution. We are also determining how to enhance recovery following a stroke, head trauma, or neurological disorder by influencing the brain’s activity during rehabilitation. This approach is called neuromodulation.