DataNeuroplasticityRehabilitationSpinal Cord InjuryTechnology

Research, Technology, and Training in Support of Rehabilitation

National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies (NCAN)

NCAN creates neurotechnologies that guide nervous system plasticity to create new rehabilitation therapies and enable others to develop and use neurotechnologies scientifically and clinically.

Neurotechnology Research

NCAN has pioneered technical advances that support complex interactions with the nervous system. NCAN actively maintains and freely provides BCI2000, a mature software platform for real-time biosignal acquisition, analysis, and feedback. This platform has become standard technology for brain-computer interface (BCI) and related neurotechnological research and development worldwide. BCI2000 forms the basis of our clinical (Evoked Potential Operant Conditioning System (EPOCS)) and pre-clinical 24/7 data acquisition and stimulation (Elizan) software platforms. NCAN has also developed novel algorithms for analysis of electrocorticographic (ECoG) data, including single-trial analyses.

NCAN has a highly diversified program of bench-to-bedside research. Our >40-year history of NIH-supported pre-clinical studies in spinal reflex operant conditioning have provided the mechanistic insight and pre-clinical data that underlie our concept of targeted plasticity for rehabilitation, and specifically to the development of reflex operant conditioning as a powerful clinical rehabilitation approach to treating motor disorders.

NCAN has 35 years of experience performing human studies and clinical trials. We now work with an extensive network of clinical partners, including the National Center of Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation (NM4R) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), MIT, UC Irvine, and Burke Neurological Institute. We develop and translate BCI and spinal reflex operant conditioning technologies, and novel ECOG-based analytical and stimulation methods that characterize and interact with brain processes responsible for essential behaviors. These studies address many goals of neurotechnology: replacing lost capabilities, restoring, improving, enhancing, and supplementing lost and natural functions.

Training and Dissemination

  • Short Course in Adaptive Neurotechnologies: NCAN holds a biennial three-week omnibus summer course for graduate students and early-career investigators taught by NCAN and eminent external faculty that provides lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on training in the growing field of neurotechnologies.
  • Electrocorticography (ECoG) Workshop: NCAN offers workshops that highlight recent scientific, engineering, and clinical advances in EcoG.
  • BCI2000 Workshops: NCAN regularly offers workshops that focus on programming in this highly adaptable software environment and on applying it for experimental and clinical purposes.
  • Spinal Cord Plasticity in Motor Control Symposium: Organized by NCAN and NM4R, this symposium focuses on activity-dependent spinal cord plasticity and motor learning in health and disease (next held virtually on Dec 1 and 4, 2020).
  • Summer Internship Program: NCAN maintains a summer program (normally on-site, but virtual in pandemic times) for undergraduate and high-school students.
  • Service Projects: NCAN shares its technologies, data sets, methodologies, materials, and guidance with other scientists, engineers, and clinicians. Contact us to establish a Service Project.

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