Internal monologue

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Internal monologue, also known as inner voice, internal speech, or verbal stream of consciousness is thinking in words. It also refers to the semi-constant internal monologue one has with oneself at a conscious or semi-conscious level (see Default mode network).

Much of what people consciously report "thinking about" may be thought of as an internal monologue, a conversation with oneself. Some of this can be considered as speech rehearsal.


  • When people read, their internal monologue actually moves their muscles slightly as if they were speaking;[citation needed] this is called subvocalizing.
  • In some medical or mental conditions there is uncertainty about the source of internal sentences. Attribution for an internal monologue may lead to concerns over schizophrenia, hallucinations, or hearing voices. This internal monologue is stimulated by the sensory parts of the brain, activating both auditory and visual receptors.
  • Contemplation attempts to calm the internal voice by various means.

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