This glossary contains definitions of the most frequently used words and terms in our field of research. Please let us know about words or terms you would want to find in this glossary in order for it to be a helpful reference for our website's visitors. You can send us a message using the form on the Contact page


Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to reorganize its operation in response to new information sources, new functional needs, or new communication pathways. Neuroplasticity is the process underlying all learning, training, and rehabilitation.

Sensory Substitution

Sensory substitution is using one human sense to receive and process information normally communicated by a different sense. Familiar examples are using a long cane for navigation or reading by Braille for a person who is blind.


Neuromodulation (NM) Neurons are brain cells that process information and communicate with each other using chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neuromodulation is the process of regulating the level of neurotransmitters in and around neurons. These changes may be targeted to specific brain regions, structures, or functions, or they may be more global in nature.

Non-invasive Neuromodulation

Non-invasive Neuromodulation (NINM) is any method of neuromodulation applied from outside the body.


Tactile: adjective: that can be perceived by the touch; tangible, having, or related to the sense of touch


Electrotactile: (electrocutaneous) touch sensations at the location of a small stimulation electrode by passing a small electric current through the surface of the skin. The electric field  generated directly excites the afferent nerve fibers responsible for normal, mechanical touch sensations.


Vibrotactile: detect and interpret sounds through the sense of touch


Vestibular: The vestibular system, which contributes to our balance and our sense of spatial orientation, is the sensory system that provides the dominant input about movement and sense of balance


Cutaneous: adjective: of, on, or affecting the skin


Haptic: Of, or relating to the sense of touch; tactile.

Project Directors

Our team is led by three project directors, Kurt Kaczmarek, Mitchell Tyler and Yuri Danilov, who have a combined total of 65 years of experience in neuroscience, biomedical science, and engineering. 

Our Research

Founded in 1992, the Tactile Com­mu­nication & Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (TCNL) is located at the University of Wisconsin-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.

Our research is aimed at developing solutions for sensory and motor disorder rehabilitation.