Neurologically, what is my inner monologue?


Is it neurons firing between minuscule sections of my brain for each word/sound? Is it different from brain activity involved in speaking or writing?

In: 8


This will be hard to ELI5

[Pub Med has this – The brain’s conversation with itself: neural substrates of dialogic inner speech](

>Studies to date have focused on covert speech elicited by simple word or sentence repetition, while ignoring richer and arguably more psychologically significant varieties of inner speech.

Part of the problem with an ELI5 is that we don’t actually know the answer yet.

>inner speech is a complex and varied phenomenon. **In behavioural studies**, everyday inner speech is often reported to be involved in self-awareness, past and future thinking and emotional reflection

but there is more

>**in cognitive research**, inner speech appears to fulfill a variety of mnemonic and regulatory functions

we seem to be trying to measure different things depending on the background assumptions.

Look at [Jones S.R., Fernyhough C. (2007). Neural correlates of inner speech and auditory verbal hallucinations: a critical review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review](

Another good read is

[Functional anatomy of inner speech and auditory verbal imagery.
McGuire PK, Silbersweig DA, Murray RM, David AS, Frackowiak RS, Frith CD. Psychol Med. 1996 Jan;26(1):29-38. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700033699. PMID: 8643761](

It is complex. I cant ELI5. It may be that you need a great deal of familiarity with the literature to unpack the little we know for sure, or even understand the discussion.

SURPRISE!! some people don’t have an inner monologue. No voice in their head. Not able to talk to themselves in their brain.