The concept of inner language - Deepstash

The concept of inner language

Loevenbruck explains that, for the most part, we hear what she terms “inner language”. But not always. “You can have expanded and more condensed forms of inner speech,” she says. “People may experience them as abstract representations of language, without sound … some people say their inner voice is like a radio that’s on all day long. Other people don’t have a voice at all, or they speak in abstract symbols that don’t involve language.” Loevenbruck can’t explain why some people experience the inner voice differently: we are at the limits of neuroscience...

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MORE IDEAS FROM The last great mystery of the mind: meet the people who have unusual – or non-existent – inner voices

Identifying your inner voice

Does your internal monologue play out on a television, in an attic, as a bickering Italian couple – or is it entirely, blissfully silent? 

Claudia, a sailor from Lichfield in her late 30s, is not Italian. She has never been to Italy. She has no Italian family or friends. And she has no idea why a belligerent Italian couple have taken over her inner voice, duking it out in Claudia’s brain while she sits back and listens.

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In order to understand how the inner voice works, you need to understand how human thought translates into action. “Whenever we do any action, our brain makes a prediction of the sensory consequences of that action,” says Loevenbruck. Say you want to fetch a glass of water. “Your brain sends the appropriate motor signals to your hand, but it also generates a sensory prediction of the command,” she says. “Before you’ve even picked up the glass, your brain has made a prediction of what the motor command will do, which means you can correct for mistakes before you make an error.

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Your Internal monologue

Your internal monologue can be friendly, calm, and encouraging or critical and bullying.

It is possible to change your inner monologue. Fostering compassion on ourselves can benefit not only our individual health and happiness but also that of society.

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The thoughts in your mind

We are so intimate with our thoughts that we never really stop to pay close attention to our wandering minds. When we do look at our thoughts, they turn out to be more interesting than we imagined.

A 2013 review points to huge individual differences between people in how much time they spend talking to themselves in their heads. Some people continually speak to themselves, while other people never talk to themselves internally.

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Talking To Ourselves: Our Inner Voice

Most of us think that talking to ourselves mentally is a normal thing. But some people don’t have an ‘inner monologue’ with themselves and rely on visualizing what they are planning or thinking.

Research in psychology reveals that many don’t realize that they talk to themselves, and for some, it only occurs when they are under pressure or are trying to perform. It is not a sign of intelligence, but a window to one’s personality.

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