Inner speech and consciousness

In W. Banks (ed.), Encyclopedia of Consciousness. Elsevier (2009)
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Abstract

Inner speech represents the activity of talking to oneself in silence. It can be assessed with questionnaires, sampling methods, and electromyographic recordings of articulatory movements. Inner speech has been linked to thought processes and self-awareness. Private speech (speech-for-self emitted aloud by children) serves an important self-regulatory function. The frequency of private speech follows an inverted-U relation with age, peaking at 3-4 years of age and disappearing at age 10. Social and inner speech share a common neurological basis: Broca’s area. Dysfunctional self-talk is known to mediate many pathological conditions; negative selfverbalizations have a more significant debilitating impact than positive ones.

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