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(22,945 posts)
Thu May 30, 2024, 12:15 PM May 30

How people without 'inner voices' could help reveal the mysteries of consciousness [View all]

The lack of an inner monologue seems linked to a lower ability to recall words and predict their sounds.

Can you imagine hearing yourself speak? A voice inside your head — perhaps reciting a shopping list or a phone number? What would life be like if you couldn't?

Some people, including me, cannot have imagined visual experiences. We cannot close our eyes and conjure an experience of seeing a loved one's face, or imagine our lounge room layout — to consider if a new piece of furniture might fit in it. This is called "aphantasia", from a Greek phrase where the "a" means without, and "phantasia" refers to an image. Colloquially, people like myself are often referred to as having a "blind mind."

While most attention has been given to the inability to have imagined visual sensations, aphantasics can lack other imagined experiences. We might be unable to experience imagined tastes or smells. Some people cannot imagine hearing themselves speak.

A recent study has advanced our understanding of people who cannot imagine hearing their own internal monologue. Importantly, the authors have identified some tasks that such people are more likely to find challenging.


"If you see me talking to myself, just move along. We're having a team meeting."
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sometimes...just sometimes... ret5hd May 30 #1
Same here I_UndergroundPanther May 30 #31
This is fascinating. When people ask me if I dream in color Ms. Toad May 30 #2
This is very interesting. I've never heard of this before. 1WorldHope May 30 #3
I hadn't heard of the lack of an inner voice before - Ms. Toad May 30 #11
Thank you for sharing. 1WorldHope May 30 #21
It's very hard to describe. Ms. Toad May 30 #24
I was amazed when I first found out about this ismnotwasm May 30 #4
Awesome information, thanks Bayard MagickMuffin May 30 #5
Those techniques wouldn't work for me. Ms. Toad May 30 #10
My experience is pretty much identical to what you describe... except I *do* dream with full visuals. thesquanderer May 30 #19
I call them worship. Ms. Toad May 30 #22
I have a lot of different voices in my head too I_UndergroundPanther May 30 #32
meditation techniques include 'calming the chattering monkey mind' Voltaire2 May 30 #6
Interesting question. limbicnuminousity May 30 #25
Crazy stuff Calculating May 30 #7
for 40 some years i was a machinist... ret5hd May 30 #8
I remember when interviewing for a technical job the company would have complex drawings to view mitch96 May 30 #14
re: "I can't imagine someone who could not visualize stuff making heads or tails of the drawings" thesquanderer May 30 #18
I believe that was referred to as abstract reasoning dweller May 30 #27
This is so interesting because I have been involved in different meditation groups Maraya1969 May 30 #9
i am quite sure you would be a... ret5hd May 30 #12
I don't hear voices in my mind. LiberalFighter May 30 #13
My inner voice usually goes away when I step away from the keyboard. hunter May 30 #15
I seem to have team meetings with myself all the time! Lonestarblue May 30 #16
K&R to read later PatSeg May 30 #17
Did anyone else close their eyes and touch the tip of their nose just to check? Uncle Joe May 30 #20
I've got a constant inner monologue AND constant music going on in my head. LudwigPastorius May 30 #23
Oh yeah, an inner voice that is always talking to you, chatting w/ you constantly. I do think that this is SWBTATTReg May 30 #26
Neural Diversity. Consciousness is a spectrum. WheelWalker May 30 #28
What does it mean I_UndergroundPanther May 30 #29
well...i dunno...maybe. but we don't care. we like ya anyway. ret5hd May 30 #30
Thanks I_UndergroundPanther May 30 #33
I do the same NanaCat May 30 #36
When I was very young, I can remember clearly one day, Emrys May 30 #34
My inner dialog has a soundtrack! ThoughtCriminal May 30 #35
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