The National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies (NCAN)'s mission is to produce and validate important new neurotechnologies, and to provide training and dissemination that enable scientists, engineers, and clinicians to join in developing and using them. It seeks to increase understanding of CNS function and dysfunction, and to realize effective new therapies for a wide range of devastating neurological disorders.

National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies (NCAN) scientists and engineers are building a unique technological infrastructure that supports real-time interactions with the central nervous system (CNS). They are using it to produce important new scientific insights and novel clinical methods, and they are beginning to disseminate these achievements to others. For example, they have shown in people with spinal cord injuries that a protocol that repeatedly elicits a hyperactive reflex and consistently rewards the smaller responses can induce concurrent CNS adaptation (i.e., plasticity) that gradually weakens the hyperactive reflex pathway and thereby helps to restore a skill such as locomotion. And, in people who have lost all muscle control, a protocol that presents a cursor movement task and appropriately translates a specific feature of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity into cursor movements can guide concurrent CNS adaptation that enables the individuals to control the EEG feature and use it to communicate. New understanding of CNS plasticity generates these protocols and new technology implements them.
Working closely with a set of outstanding collaborators, The National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies is continuing and expanding these efforts, strengthening their focus on clinical translation, and accelerating the dissemination of the new technologies. The Center has three aims:
Aim 1 is to create novel adaptive neurotechnologies, define their mechanisms, and translate them into new therapies that significantly enhance recovery for people with neuromuscular disorders.
Aim 2 is to disseminate these technologies for use everywhere.
Aim 3 is to educate and train other scientists, engineers, and clinicians to join in developing these technologies and using them to solve scientific and clinical problems.

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