Photo of Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken who is director of REKNEW Projects. WELCOME FROM OUR DIRECTOR

The REKNEW research group addresses the complex communication needs of adults with acquired disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases. We work on many different REKNEW projects, targeting different adult groups and communication supports. Our approach is based on a philosophy of Participatory Action Research: we believe that individuals with complex communication needs should be part of our research endeavors, from the initial questions posed in a study to the dissemination of research results.

We invite you to explore our website and examine our different clinical research projects. We would be happy to discuss our work with you, whether you are interested in participating in a study, supporting us, learning about our recent publications or knowledge translation activities, or just finding out more about communication supports for adults.
~Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken


To learn more about our funders, who we work with, our technologies and our upcoming events, please click the blue links to below.

Who Funds Our Work

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research logoAdministration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities logo

 National Institutes of Health logo

Who We Work With

REKNEW Projects are conducted in collaboration with various community partners as well as the following organizations:

REKNEW projects have reached out to several populations, including adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), Locked-In Syndrome (LIS) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). We have also looked at the outcomes of training caregivers in Alzheimer’s Care Units to use communication systems with their residents.


Our Technologies

Brain-computer interface logoBrain-computer Interface Systems

Our research seeks to develop an efficient and effective brain computer interface (BCI) system that will serve as a communication access method for individuals with locked-in syndrome. We strive to improve the accuracy and speed of the technology, as well as user satisfaction, for a system that can be used for functional written and spoken expression.

View more information about our BCI systems and how you can get involved in our studies


blahSmart Predict App for AAC Conversation

Our research seeks to develop a unique and practical Smart Prediction AAC system that exploits the physical skills, language skills, and shared world knowledge of a nondisabled co-constructor to support the AAC user. By examining message generation from a co-construction perspective, we are reimagining the concept of AAC conversation and the turn-taking paradigms that are standard in this rehabilitation field, and may offer the field of AAC an innovative and unique way to improve communication effectiveness in complex communication dyads.

View more information on our Smart Predict system and how you can get involved in our studies

Upcoming Events

Hyatt Regency Crystal City – Arlington, Virginia, July 11-15, 2018
Hyatt Regency Crystal City – Arlington, Virginia, July 13, 2018


REKNEW Team Presents at 2018 International BCI Society Meeting

The seventh International BCI Society Meeting took place on May 21-25, 2018 in Pacific Grove, California. The purpose of the conference is to review the state of the science, address key issues critical to further progress, and promote the education and participation of young researchers. The conference was well attended by over 400 guests including research scientists, clinicians, software developers, engineers, industry representatives, students, and more.

A group photo of the REKNEW BCI team taken at Asilomar retreat for the 2018 International BCI Society Meeting

Team members attending included: (front row, L to R) Bruce Wojciechowski, Shiran Dudy, Tab Memmott, Paula Gonzalez, Yeganeh Marghi, Betts Peters, Brandon Eddy and (back row, L to R) Melanie Fried-Oken, Murat Akcakaya, Deniz Erdogmus, Barry Oken, Steven Bedrick, Michelle Kinsella

The REKNEW Lab was well represented at the conference, providing several poster presentations and a three-hour workshop presentation.

Click the links below to access PDF images of the REKNEW team's poster presentations. Abstracts will be available soon on the BCI Society website. Our team's presentations included:

VIew "Icons are not equal: Considerations for use of icons in BCI system"

View "A Revised Sensory/cognitive/communication Screen for Use with Communication BCI Study Participants"

View "BciPy: A Python Framework for Brain-Computer Interface Research"

View "Trends inBCIMeetingAbstracts on Research Participant Categories and Descriptions between 1999 and 2013"

image of Michelle Kinsella presentingA workshop entitled "Eye Tracking, Vision, and BCI" was collaboratively presented by members of our team (including Michelle Kinsella, pictured left) as well as Dr. Bruce Wojciechowski, Dr. Deniz Erdogmus, and Dr. Boyla Mainsah. 

Steven Bedrick and Shiran Dudy presented a workshop entitled "Natural Language Processing &BCI". Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the computational analysis of spoken or written language, and is an important part of many Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems. The workshop covered a wide range of topics, including tutorials on language modeling and vocabulary personalization, discussion of icon-based typing systems, and considerations around user privacy. It was workshop was attended by more than twenty people from five countries, with participants from industry, academia, and government.