Language and Computation in Neural Systems

An independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour.
Aline-Priscillia Messi Andrea E. Martin Bob van Tiel
Cas W. Coopmans Thu Ngân Dặng Fan Bai
Filiz Tezcan Semerci Hugo Weissbart Ioanna Zioga
Junyuan Zhao Karthikeya Kaushik Lorenzo Titone
Olivia Guest Renee He Rong Ding Ryan Law
Sanne ten Oever Sophie Slaats Yangyi Shao

The focus of our research group is to understand the computational principles and mechanisms that underlie the representation and processing of human language. Our aim is to develop a theory about how the brain generates human language that is based on principles from across the language sciences, the cognitive and computational sciences, and neuroscience – and to do so in a way that stays faithful to the constraints on neural computation, to the formal properties of language, and to human behavior.

Our starting point is an interdisciplinary approach that asserts that any theory of how the brain represents and processes language must stay faithful to linguistic, computational, neuroscientific, and behavioral principles. Our focus is on the role of “rhythmic computation” as a mechanism for symbolic representations in brain-like systems. We create theoretical models and computational implementations. Then, neuroscientific experiments are designed to test if the brain solves the problem using similar mechanisms.

To read more about our research, check out our research and publication pages.