CIS faculty Prof. Ramesh Balasubramaniam is part of an exciting multi-institutional and multidisciplinary agenda to study musical experience and community through the lens of the cognitive and neural sciences. Known as the UC Music Experience Research Community Initiative (MERCI), it has now received a University of California President’s Research Catalyst Award of $300,000 to support guest speakers and student internships to build collaborations across campuses. Our own Prof. Balasubramaniam is one of the lead faculty of this agenda. He has also secured National Science Foundation funding to support research on the topic of music performance with another MERCI research (Dr. Iversen, UCSD), which is now supporting graduate student research in the CIS program, further fostering exciting connections between campuses on the topic of motor control, musical experience and performance, and neuroscience.
This program emerged in part out of a Music and Language Dynamics workshop that UC Merced’s CIS program hosted a couple of years ago. You can read about this prior workshop here, which hosted many scholars from numerous schools around the world.