August 3rd – 7th, 2020

Humanities & Cognitive Sciences

High School Summer Institute (HumCog!)

Co-Directors: Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama and Dr. Andrew Leber

The application window is February 14 – April 6, 2020

(The 2020 application can be found here.)

HumCog is open to rising 9th graders through rising 12th graders.


  • Where does creativity come from?
  • Can reading comics change the way you feel?
  • Why is Austen’s Emma better than The Hunger Games?
  • What are the brain mechanisms involved in reasoning?
  • How are music videos processed by your neural circuits?

     If you’re curious about these questions

      (and others like them)

        you’ll want to join us this summer!



Cognitive Science: The scientific study of the mind, brain and its processes be they real, artificial or animal. It allows us to understand the process of thought, learning and mental organization through disciplines such as  psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, and artificial intelligence.

Humanities: The study and analysis of people and the human experience that spans disciplines such as philosophy, literature, the arts, languages and history. It allows us to understand all that we do and create as humans.

The Ohio State University is excited to announce the seventh annual Humanities and Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute (HumCog)!  This week-long summer program provides a critical thinking forum for rising high school students to explore the big questions at the intersection of the humanities and cognitive sciences.

At HumCog, students will learn about the correlation of brain sciences and the humanities.  For example, new research in brain sciences can help us understand how we create and consume culture such as film, comic books, TV, poetry, short stories, and video games.  Combining this knowledge with research being conducted in the humanities can help us better understand critical processes such as thought, feeling, and action in our scientific world.

Against this backdrop, an interdisciplinary collaboration of professors has launched HumCog, developing its activities in partnership with Ohio State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences.

For one week, students will spend every day from 9AM to 3PM on the beautiful Ohio State campus. They will spend the mornings with world-renowned professors in daily lectures and intensively studying and discussing these topics. They will participate in group discussions and activities in the afternoon. Students will be introduced to research methods, as well as to library and online resources. Through hands on laboratory activities and collaborative research with fellow institute Scholars, students will get a glimpse of what it is like to be a student at The Ohio State University. At the end of the week, they will have learned central aspects of just how the humanities and cognitive sciences can work together to help us understand how we imagine, artistically create, and materially transform the world in which we live.

What will you do?

  • Develop interests in neuroscience and cognitive science and basic research
  • Acquire knowledge of how our emotions and thoughts work in everyday activities as well as in more specialized activities like making stories and consuming those stories
  • Participate in hands-on laboratory activities
  • Learn that the intersection of the sciences and humanities can teach us something foundational about what it means to be human
  • Learn the scientific method and humanities in the analysis of all that we do and make
  • Learn how research in the cognitive sciences can be applied to the humanities and vice versa
  • Learn how issues in the cognitive sciences and humanities relate to the kind of knowledge and thinking skills that are needed for everyday life, including telling stories around the dinner table to watching your favorite TV show or playing your favorite video game


  • Learn from and establish professional relationships with world-renowned professors at The Ohio State University
  • Professional networking and possible letters recommendation from college professors
  • Open doors for opportunities to institutions of higher education
  • Learn what it is like to learn at a college campus
  • Help prepare students for the college experience
  • Create professional relationships with advanced college student Team Leaders
  • Create lifelong friendships with students from across the Columbus schools
  • Receive a certificate of completion