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Do you hear an inner voice?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Ned Marcus, Oct 25, 2021.

Do you hear an inner voice?

  1. Yes, I hear it loud and clear.

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  2. I hear something, but it's not consistent or completely clear.

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. No, I don't literally hear an inner voice.

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  4. My experience doesn't fit in with any of these (please explain)

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I've just read an article in the Guardian about the inner voice that many people hear. It discusses findings in neuroscience. Just as some people have inner visual imagery (and a few don't—ie. me) some people actually hear a literal voice in their mind.

    Here's the article.

    This is not something people normally talk about, but I'm interested in how people experience life, and I'd like to know how common or uncommon this is.

    Do you literally hear an inner voice? Silence? Or something in between?
     
  2. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    This could be a difficult thing for people to reply to. That's partly why I included the survey for people not comfortable talking about this. After all, many people say that if you literally hear a voice or if you talk to yourself you must be mad. I don't think that's true. No more than if you see literal images in your mind. Talking to other people who you believe there who aren't would be different.

    I voted that my experience doesn't fit because I do have some sort of internal monologue, but it's not really audible, at least, it's not as it seems to be for some of the people in the article I linked to. When I dream, I sometimes hear clear voices and see clear images.

    I've written a short story on the theme of aphantasia (lack of mental imagery). Perhaps I should play with this idea, too.
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Since hearing is with the ears, I can't hear a voice "in my mind."

    What I do "hear" is the same voice that I hear when I'm reading. Or even writing. It's probably my own voice, or my mental framing of my own voice. I'm quite certain, for example, that it is not a child's voice or a woman's voice. Nor is it some other male's voice. I cannot imagine how I could read without this internal voicing of the words.

    And that's rather different from visual imagination. I can picture images, though it's not usually vivid or detailed. Sketchy. Hazy. Words like those come closer. In any case, the picturing is distinct from myself, from my identity, in a way that my inner voice, if we are to call it that, is not.

    It's curious that we rarely have discussions about the other senses. Do I feel an inner touch? Smell an inner smell (I don't mean imagining but the actual physical sensation)? Taste an inner taste? If I imagine a touch, do I get an actual physical sensation? I'm sure the answer to all this is yes, for at least a few people.
     
    Ned Marcus likes this.
  4. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Inkling

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    It's there sometimes, but it's not completely clear. It's kinda murky or under a "layer" or two obscuring it, but I still know what the words/meaning are. I have ADHD and part of that is auditory processing issues. My ears work perfectly fine, I have super sharp hearing, but my brain just. Doesn't process the data sometimes. Like I might have to ask someone to repeat themselves 5 or 6 times and I still have no idea what they said because it's all unintelligible. So it's a problem with my brain, which is why I think my "inner voice" is very unclear a lot of the time. But since I'm thinking of those words, anyways, I already kinda know what they are, so it works out. But I don't think about it all too much.

    I AM able to visualize images....but only small parts of it. So either it's a big landscape with very broad strokes of colors/shapes/objects or it's super "zoomed in" to one area of a person or object. I'm also faceblind so I can't imagine distinct faces. I can "replay" music or dialogue pretty well and I think my memory of taste is pretty good? Smell and touch is there but not super strong, but I can focus and be able to put it into words good.
     
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  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Skip beat me to it. I think in words, with the same voice that it's in my head when I read. It's my reading voice. Only it likes to monologue and talk through some of the things I might want to say at a given time. I can visualize things, sometimes with a good bit of clarity, but only if I stop and try to.
     
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  6. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    Our ears collect sounds, but we hear with our minds. Some people do hear an inner voice. I do in my dreams, and I don't think anyone is whispering things to me. Seeing is with eyes, but people still have mental imagery.

    I wish I could picture images, but like sounds, they appear only in my dreams, with a few exceptions.

    That's a good point. I feel inner feelings, as in touch heat or cold, but never smell or taste.
     
  7. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

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    Why, by reading aloud, as folks did through much of history. :)

    I very much hear that internal voice. And sometimes external, as I'm rather inclined to talk to myself (hey, I live alone—why not?). I'm also inclined to read my stuff aloud at times, to check its flow. That's probably from being a poet and songwriter before I started writing fiction. Evelyn Waugh said that he thought entirely in words, and I'm pretty much the same. Ideas, images, etc. take their form from those words.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I ought to have been more precise. I cannot imagine how I could read *silently* without this internal voicing of the words.

    You're quite right about reading aloud. Reading silently is a modern custom.
     
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I have a clear voice when reading or thinking something specific, but otherwise, I always have “murmurs” in the background like demons i can’t quite understand… Silence is alien to me. To the best of my recollection, even before the ringing in my ears, silence never existed.

    I can’t visualize anything. It’s like the image is there but behind some strange mental curtain, but I can then describe that unseen image in pretty good detail.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  10. I have a voice in my head all the time... A few actually. Sometimes they're my characters and other times it's my own voice in my head.
     
  11. emilyn

    emilyn New Member

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    I often hear my inner voice, but it is not like someone coming to you tell you in your ear, but it is like you are getting answers in your dreams or you give you commands to do something.
    We often have strong intuitions for people, and they came true because we got the idea from our inner voice.
     
  12. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I always hear it, but I'm also psychotic, among other things, and hallucinations play a big part in that. Doesn't make them any less of a help to the creative process, though. I think we need to be at least a little crazy to do what we do.
     
  13. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    with me, it is not so much a voice as it is a series of 'mental movie clips.' I envision a situation from a given POV, then write it out.
     
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