The Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics

For more Information contact:

Elliot Cole, PhD, Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics

P.O. Box 171, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Email: ecole@brain-rehab.com

For Researchers


Our mission is to develop and field-test technology for addressing cognitive deficits from acquired brain injury. The Institute for Cognitive Prosthetics has been primarily an R&D organization. Our culture has encouraged close collaboration between clinicians and computer scientists, supported by PhD research designers.  As a result, we have been very productive in product design and very productive in conferences and publications. Over the years, we have made over 100 publications and presentations in the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, and Australia. Our culture has also encouraged us to organize panels and sessions at professional meetings and consumer conferences, as well as grand rounds and in-service training.


We have several different slices of data: clinical notes, clinical testing, patient work-products (and the history of each), computer logs of patient use, videos of patients and therapists working, and comments by patients. Because of our environment – clinical, software development, and research – we have substantial opportunity to observe and talk to our users (patients, caregivers, clinicians), which gives us a richer sense of the raw data which we collect.


Please feel free to contact us for more detailed information.


Primary articles: (pdf format)


“Patient-Centered Design: Interface Personalization for Individuals with Brain Injury”, 2011. Because cognitive assistive technology can help achieve a partial recovery in patients with enduring cognitive disabilities, clinicians can and should be involved in the design process. Patient-Centered Design (PCD) is a method of customizing cognitive prosthetic software for use as a therapist's tool in treating patients. The patient is viewed as a user with rapidly changing software needs. PCD can be used to personalize the software fast enough to be an appropriate therapy tool. Two mini case-studies are presented. One used almost no features yet overcame a barrier to achieving a significant therapy goal. The second shows the significant role of therapist and patient in designing a powerful new tool that enables patients to remind themselves, in their own words and voices, of upcoming events. The paper also relates advances in neuroscience to new clinical opportunities for cognitive assistive technology.



Cognitive Prosthetics: an overview to a method of treatment.  The first survey article of the cognitive prosthetics area. Describes the different approaches of researchers in the field, various findings and techniques, and develops criteria for a cognitive prosthesis compared with software meant for the general population.


Design and Outcomes of Computer-Based Cognitive Prosthetics for Brain Injury: A Field Study of Three Subjects. A 'schedule engine' is used in very different ways for different patients. 3 plateaued outpatients used computers installed in their homes for 2-3 months. All exceeded expectations, and achieved both increases in level of functioning targeted by the study as well as a generalized increase on neurobehavioral and psychological dimensions. Patients were able to make substantial contributions to the design of their prosthetic software.


Interface Design as a Prosthesis for an Individual with a Brain Injury 1990 SIG CHI Bulletin. Data is presented from the first 314 days of use of 2 prosthetic software applications by a 3-year post-TBI woman with some profound deficits. Nonetheless, the client was able to make significant contributions to the design of her prosthetic software, and was able to develop unanticipated functionality for the software. Interface design was able to have the patient use both applications independently of caregivers.


Rapid functional improvement and generalization in a young stroke patient following computer-based cognitive prosthetic intervention. Severe physical and cognitive deficits showed dramatic improvement in both targeted and untargeted problem areas. This extended abstract was presented at an NIH Neural Prosthetics Workshop.


Click here for our papers and presentations; many can be downloaded.

Therapy that empowers you . . . Technology that brings you home

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