• wednesday, 30 march 2022—12:15

    What is an inner voice? Diversity of endophasia framed within a neurocognitive account

    Hélène Lœvenbruck, Université Grenoble Alpes, Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition

    This seminar will take place at the ULB Solbosch campus. If you are not able to go to the ULB, you can also follow the seminar online: https://bit.ly/35idnat


    “Woo-hoo, donuts! Marge, you’re awesome!”

    “Mmm, Homer!? It was modelling clay…!”

    Can you hear the voices of Homer and Marge when you read this?

    Inner speech, also known as inner voice, interior monologue or endophasia, can take various forms depending on the individual or the situation. Recent data from neuroimaging studies, behavioural experiments and questionnaires challenge assumptions about the universal quality of endophasia, by offering evidence for the prevalence of atypical forms, such as verbal aphantasia (lack of inner voice), verbal hyperphantasia (extremely vivid inner voice) and auditory verbal hallucination. In ConDialInt, a neurocognitive model rooted in a hierarchical predictive control theory, the diversity of endophasia can be accounted for by considering a gradual variation along three essential dimensions: condensation, dialogality and intentionality. The phenomenon of inner voice is seen as an exaptation of the sensory predictions involved in the control of overt speech production. Expanded forms of endophasia, associated with inner voice percepts, can be viewed as sensory signals resulting from predictive control. Condensed forms of endophasia, deprived of sensory quality, are construed as hierarchical precursors of expanded forms. Dialogal forms are considered as inner verbal productions accompanied with indexical and perspective properties. Intentional forms are seen as stringently monitored productions. Unintentional forms, such as mind wandering, occur with less monitoring. Verbal hyperphantasia vs aphantasia are explained by variation in the condensation dimension, with activation vs inhibition of lower-level predictions. Auditory verbal hallucinations are construed as unintentional forms of dialogal endophasia bestowed with a lack of agency due to a defective predictive mechanism. These propositions have implications for levels of representation in theories of language processing and cognition in general.

    external seminar