No internal voice? A new study reveals its effect on memory

summary: A new study has found that some people lack an inner voice, called anendophasia, which affects their verbal memory and rhyme recognition. Participants without an inner voice had more difficulty performing these tasks than those with an inner voice.

The study highlights the unique cognitive strategies used by individuals with anorexia. Future research will explore how this affects other cognitive processes and treatments.

Key facts:

  1. Indovasia: A state of lack of inner voice, which affects verbal memory and rhyme recognition.
  2. Results: People who do not have an inner voice perform worse at remembering words and rhymes.
  3. Cognitive strategies: Individuals with anorexia use unique strategies to solve problems.

source: University of Copenhagen

Previously, it was commonly assumed that having an inner voice should be a universal human thing. But in recent years, researchers have come to realize that not everyone shares this experience.

According to postdoctoral researcher and linguist Johan Nedergaard from the University of Copenhagen, people describe the state of living without an inner voice as time-consuming and difficult because they have to spend time and effort translating their thoughts into words:

“Some say they think in pictures and then translate the pictures into words when they need to say something. Others describe their brain as a well-functioning computer that does not process thoughts verbally, and that communicating with a speaker and microphone is different from communicating with others.

“And those who say there is something verbal going on inside their heads usually describe it as words without sound.”

– Difficulty remembering words and rhymes

Johan Nedergaard and her colleague Gary Lupyan from the University of Wisconsin-Madison are the first researchers in the world to investigate whether the lack of an inner voice, or Andonovasia As they formulated this case, it has any consequences for how these people solve problems, for example how they perform verbal memory tasks.

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People who reported that they experienced either a high degree of inner voice or very little inner voice in everyday life underwent one experiment aimed at determining whether there was a difference in their ability to remember language input and another about their ability to find rhyming words.

The first experiment involved participants remembering words in order – words that were similar, both phonetically and orthographically, for example ‘bought’, ‘caught’, ‘screwed’ and ‘wart’.

“It’s a task that would be difficult for everyone, but our hypothesis was that it might be more difficult if you don’t have an inner voice because you have to repeat the words to yourself inside your head until you remember them.” Johan Nedergaard explains and continues:

This hypothesis turned out to be correct: participants who had no inner voice were significantly worse at remembering words.

The same was true for the task in which participants had to determine whether a pair of pictures contained rhyming words, for example, pictures of a sock and a watch.

It is also important here to be able to repeat words to compare their sounds and thus determine whether they rhyme or not.

In two other experiments, in which Johan Nedergaard and Gary Lupyan tested the role of the inner voice in quickly switching between different tasks and distinguishing between very similar shapes, they found no differences between the two groups.

Although previous studies suggest that language and inner voice play a role in this type of experience.

People who do not have an inner voice may have just learned to use other strategies. For example, some said they tapped their index finger when performing one type of task, and their middle finger when performing another type of task,” says Johan Nedergaard.

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The results of the researchers’ study have just been published in an article titled “Not Everyone Has an Inner Voice: Behavioral Consequences of Phase Loss” in the scientific journal Psychological sciences.

Is there a difference?

According to Johan Nedergaard, the differences in verbal memory they identified in their experiments would not be observed in normal everyday conversations. The question is: Does having an inner voice have any practical or behavioral significance?

“The short answer is we don’t know because we’re just starting to study it. But there is one area where we suspect that having an inner voice plays a role, and that is therapy; in the widely used cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, you need to identify negative thought patterns and change them, Having an inner voice can be very important in such a process.

“However, it is still uncertain whether differences in the experience of the inner voice are related to how people respond to different types of therapy,” says Johan Nedergaard, who wants to continue her research to see if other language areas are affected if you do not have an inner voice. .

“The experiments where we found differences between the groups were related to sound and the ability to hear words themselves. I would like to study whether this is because they are not experiencing the sound aspect of language, or whether they are not thinking at all about linguistic form like most other people.”

About the study

Johan Nedergaard and Gary Lupyan’s study included nearly a hundred participants, half of whom had very little inner voice and the other half had very much inner voice.

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Participants were exposed to four trials of, for example, remembering words in sequence and switching between different tasks.

The study was published in the scientific journal Psychological sciences.

Johan Nedergaard and Gary Lupyan called the condition of having no inner voice anendophasia, which means having no inner voice.

About anorexia and memory research news

author: Carsten Munk Hansen
source: University of Copenhagen
communication: Carsten Munk Hansen – University of Copenhagen
picture: Image credited to Neuroscience News

Original search: Closed access.
Not everyone has an inner voice: Behavioral consequences of endophobia“By Johan Nedergaard et al. Psychological sciences

a summary

Not everyone has an inner voice: Behavioral consequences of endophobia

It is generally assumed that inner speech—the experience of thought as it occurs in natural language—is universally human.

However, recent evidence suggests that the experience of inner speech in adults varies from almost constant to non-existent.

We propose a name for the inexperience of inner speech – Anendophasia – and report on four studies investigating some of its behavioral consequences.

We found that adults who reported lower levels of inner speech (n = 46) had poorer performance on a verbal working memory task and greater difficulty performing rhyme judgments than adults who reported high levels of inner speech (n = 47).

Task-switching performance, previously linked to internal verbal cues, and categorical effects on perceptual judgments, were not related to differences in internal speech.

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