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I hope you do, if you claim you can think!

I sure do have voices in my head. I have this constant internal conversation between ideas when I'm actively thinking, like when solving a problem, or planning a meal or a trip, or writing this. Most are in my own voice but sometimes when I think stuff my mom would have told me, I hear it in her voice, same with ideas from my dad, a teacher, or a friend. Nothing weird, very 'organic', that would be expected from an analog wetware machine like the brain. 

The problem is that some people mistake those external-sounding voices for thoughts that are not theirs. Research shows that about 5% of us are afflicted with that brain disorder. There's an interesting experiment where subjects are recorded, the pitch of their voice is lowered and played back to them. Most can identify themselves but some absolutely can't, with a very definite spike in the ratio of identification errors in people with the problem.

Now think of this in the context of religions. All those prophets, saints, mystics, preachers and gurus, the 'spiritual elite' that has plagued civilizations for ever, would have been suffering from this brain malfunction?

Jesus, convinced that it's Yahweh talking to him, Peter, convinced he's hearing Jesus' voice, Pat Robertson's claim that he knows what God's thinking... Perhaps genetics will explain the Westboro Baptist Church. 

Very interesting talk from Radiolab on the science of thinking.

(Sorry, can't embed)

From the silent words of a child forming her first thought, to the inner heckler that taunts you when the pressure's on, a look at how the voices in our heads shape us -- for better and for worse.

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When I start having ideas, though they are not in the form of voices, I take my pen and write furiously...

My ideas Tend To Take Form of Voices, So I Write Them Down. And it Turns Into A Story

Writing is one of the top methods for articulate thinking.

So interesting,, Thanks for sharing!

I'm with you my friend; though I don't hink of it as a voice. Must be, there's always something churning.

I have my iphone wherever I go so I can record a quick memo or jot down an idea. Nothing worse than a disappearing thought.

I've been watching my thoughts process and the ways they manifest themselves.  I was wrong  in saying I don't heaar words in my head but I was also right.  When I first perceived the question, it was like if I had monologues in my head  but I'm not sure that's what you meant Michel ?  Sure I have ideas,  reactions, after-thoughts about something but I just don't perceive them as  words in my head.

The gist of the article is that we use words to think.

For those of us who are not deaf, those words have a sound, they are (silently) uttered by 'a' voice. When we debate an idea with ourselves, there might be two different voices operating in the 'discussion', a dialog instead of a monologue. If like some people you have difficulty recognizing the sound of your own voice, you might be inclined to think one (or both) voices in this internal debate are not yours (God's, Satan's, your dead relative?)

I have dialogues, but the voices are the same. Me talking to me, who else would understand?

Mostly me talking to me, same here.

But once in a while I'll involuntarily invoke an idea or concept from someone who's taught me something in the past, and it will definitely 'sound' like that person is arguing with or coaxing me.

And being bilingual adds an interesting dimension to these exchanges. =)

It's my own voice talking and sometimes in english sometimes in french...

I'm biaggressive, they yell at each other. =)


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