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BCI neurotechnology for novel rehabilitation approaches in stroke-induced cognitive deficits: Evaluation of brain-computer interface methods for training language deficits (aphasia) following a brain stroke.


Project runtime: 2015-2018 


CogReha is kindly supported by


CogReha is an interdisciplinary project which translates neurotechnology methods into clinical applications. The main goal of the CogReha project is to develop and evaluate brain-computer interface (BCI) based training protocols for patients with cognitive deficits after stroke. After considering several types of cognitive deficits in the first phase of the project, CogReha has focussed on patients in the chronic state with language deficits (aphasia) after brain stroke, for whom we have developed and implemented an auditory, BCI-based training protocol.

During the training, patients need to detect a target word in a rapid sequence of words. During this task, a BCI gives feedback about their task-relevant brain activity. This should help patients to train their language-related networks. Feasibility and user acceptance of this protocol has been shown in a study with 20 normally aged controls. In addition, eight patients with post-stroke aphasia underwent several sessions of the new BCI-supported training approach, while their language abilities are clinically assessed. Preliminary results indicated that the BCI-supported training is well-accepted by the patients and it showed significant improvements for several categories (such as naming, written language or comprehension) even in the chronic phase of aphasia.

In the next step, the BCI-based training should be compared to a control task that is similar to the BCI-based training protocol, but does not rely on brain signals. We are currently searching for subjects that want to participate. Please follow the link (in German) if you are interested (Teilnehmer für Aphasiestudie gesucht). 


Contact person:

Dr. Michael Tangermann -- Send


  • Dr. Mariachristina Musso (University Medical Center Freiburg)
  • PD Dr. Stefan Klöppel, MD (University Medical Center Freiburg)
  • Prof. Dr. Cornelius Weiller (BrainkLinks BrainTools Excellence Cluster)

PhD students:

Awards, prices

This project has won the second prize at the annual BCI award 2018. News 

This project has also won a best poster award at the European Stroke Organisation Conference, Gothenburg - ESOC 2018.


Michael Tangermann, David Hübner, Sarah Schwarzkopf, Cornelius Weiller, Mariacristina Musso (2018). Effects on language ability induced by BCI-Based Training of Patients with Aphasia. Proc. 7th Int. Brain-Computer Interface Meeting, Asilomar, Verlag der TU Graz, p.110-111.

Mariacristina Musso, David Hübner, Sarah Schwarzkopf, Cornelius Weiller, Michael Tangermann (2018). A novel aphasia training based on brain-computer interfaces. 4th European Stroke Organization Conference (ESOC), Gothenburg. European Stroke Journal, 2018, Vol. 3(1S) p. 205-206.

Atieh Bamdadian, Simone Denzer, Mariacristina Musso, Michael Tangermann. ERP Responses of the Elderly for Bisyllabic Word Stimuli. Proceedings of the 6th International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting: BCI Past, Present, and Future, p. 180, 2016.

Mariacristina Musso, Atieh Bamdadian, Simone Denzer, Roza Umarova, David Hübner, Michael Tangermann. A novel BCI based rehabilitation approach for aphasia rehabilitation. Proceedings of the 6th International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting: Past, Present, and Future, p. 104, 2016.

Michael Tangermann, Norah Schnorr, Mariacristina Musso. Towards Aphasia Rehabilitation with BCI. Proceedings of the 6th International Brain-Computer Interface Conference, Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, p. 65-68, 2014.