About US


The NEA Research Lab at UCLA is developing an Arts Impact Measurement System (AIMS) to help identify and characterize the ways that arts engagements influence health and psychological well-being. This work has been developed at the intersection of our initiatives to understand the basic psychological and brain mechanisms underlying creativity and well-being.

Key contributions to this effort come from:

  • The Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Center for the Biology of Creativity in UCLA’s Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, which has focused on understanding the behavioral and brain bases of creativity including in-depth studies of exceptional visual artists and musicians.
  • The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) Center at UCLA, which has focused on promoting well-being through manifold efforts including a focus on creativity and arts engagement particularly through its MindWell program.
  • The Innovation Lab @ UCLA Semel Institute and Center for Health Services and Society, which focuses on developing applications for community based participatory research using mobile technologies and identifying digital “biomarkers” of well-being.
  • The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, which has been operating intensive arts engagement experiences in schools (e.g., “Jazz in the Classroom” and “BeBop to HipHop” programs), and creating other programs to preserve, perpetuate and expand jazz as a global artform.