About us

We are a group of researchers investigating the intersection of natural language, computation, and human cognition. We are based at Saarland University and Saarland Informatics Campus, Germany.

Our research studies the following topics:

  • Natural Language Processing: How do neural language models comprehend language? What explains their success, and what are their limitations? For example, we have investigated the expressive power of transformer models to model recursive structure (TACL 2020) and probed the linguistic knowledge of language models (TACL 2019).

  • Computational Cognitive Science: How do humans understand language, and how does this process shape language? In recent work, we have augmented GPT-2 with memory limitations to examine what makes recursion difficult for humans (PNAS 2022a), and propose that grammar reflects pressures towards efficient language use (PNAS 2020, PNAS 2022b).

Meet the Team

Principal Investigator


Michael Hahn

Assistant Professor



Xinting Huang

PhD Student


Kate McCurdy

Postdoctoral Researcher


Winter 2023/24 Seminar Language Models as Cognitive Models (Kate McCurdy).
Winter 2023/24 Foundations of Mathematics (Michael Hahn).

Joining the Lab

If you’re interested in joining, please do not hesitate to contact us at mhahn@lst.uni-saarland.de