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Your Inner Spoken Thoughts Volume

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posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 02:32 PM
Science & Technology Discussion Forum, what regulates the level of volume to your inner spoken (or: sounded) thoughts in your brain? Do scientists know? What's it called? And do scientists know how high and how low (in volume) you can speak inner your own mind with your thoughts?

How about you... Please participate.
What volume level from minimum to maxmium (in comparison with your t.v. or radio) would you give your highest inner spoken (or: sounded) thoughts in terms of sound level?

[edit on 18-11-2009 by Tormentations]

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 03:14 PM
I think in different voices depending on the people I have been around, and the thought that I am thinking of. If the thought has to do with someone or relates to them in some way, I think in there voice.

The loudness of the voice is usually a normal speaking volume.

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 04:21 PM
I'm not sure of any studies I could cite off-hand, and I don't have the time just now to check it out. So this is mostly just a tag post till I get back in a few hours.

(I don't have time to do my basic fact checking, so consider the following as speculation for now)

Your auditory cortex has the ability to recognize and process the volume of noises you hear around you. That's how you can tell what direction a noise is coming from - basically by contrasting the difference in volume levels between the left and right ear. The one furthest from the source will register slightly lower.. even if you don't consciously notice it at times.

The Audio and Visual cortex regions in your brain are extremely similar in functionality when they are first formed, and are specialized later in devlopment. Tests in ferret embryos to knock out the visual cortex and re-route optic sensory information to the auditory cortex show that it's possible for the auditory cortex to actually process both visual and audio stimuli simultaneously if prompted to early enough - but with reduced functionality of either sense.

I also know that fMRI scans of brain activity shows that when patients are prompted to visualise in their mind a shape, face, etc - their visual cortex lights up with activity. So your visual cortex doesn't just process sensory imput from your eyes, but also processes the data for your "mind's eye". Off-hand, considering all that above, I see really no reason why it'd be fundamentally different for imagined audio properties. I feel confident suggesting that differentiating between loud and soft internal voice is no more strange or obscure... and probably a very similar process... to differentiating between a green mental image and an orange mental image.


Edit: Doing some basic research. Thought I'd post some links to earlier statements.

--Journal Nature - Musical imagery: Sound of silence activates auditory cortex--

I'm not sure as to the exact mechanism which turns up the volume on the subvocalization, and the abstract doesn't mention that aspect. It may be in the full paper, but you have to pay for the article. At least it confirms my supposition that mental dictation stimulates the auditory cortex. Again, if I had to speculate - I'd suggest that "mental volume" (being subjective) is more an effect of quieting noise/interference from other processes and thoughts in the executive consciousness. For instance, if you stand next to an explosive charge - the blast will register at extremely high decibels which seem to be hard to emulate mentally.

(Though the assembly of ideas into a complete thought and the correlation between words and meaning occurs elsewhere.)

Here's a few other links to some research abstracts which are related that you might find interesting.

PubMed: Visual inflences on ferret auditory cortex.

PubMed: Visual speech perception (sign language) without primary auditory cortex activation.

PubMed: Primary auditory cortex activation by visual speech.

Crossmodal audio-visual interactions in the primary visual cortex of the visually deprived cat: a physiological and anatomical study.

PubMed: Rapid and reversible recruitment of early visual cortex for touch.

[edit on 18-11-2009 by Lasheic]

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 10:33 PM
That's a weird concept; I'd never really though about this, before.

I'd say for me, my average level is basically the same as my normal conversational voice, and 'max volume' is about like shouting at somebody in another part of the house. Unless I'm specifically thinking of a certain sound or voice, I usually 'think' in my own voice, too.

posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 10:40 PM
The normal volume level is a normal speaking tone and I can't seem to raise or lower it. It's also my "voice".

At times I've noticed that it wasn't my "voice" but rather someone that I cannot recognise or the one that I was conversating with.

Now that I'm really trying it kinda hurts to try to raise or lower the volume....weird.

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