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A Self-Regulation Model of Inner Speech and its Role in the Organisation of Human Conscious Experience

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Abstract:

This paper argues for the importance of inner speech in a proper understanding of the structure of human conscious experience. It reviews one recent attempt to build a model of inner speech based on a grammaticization model (Steels, 2003) and compares it with a self-regulation model here proposed. This latter model is located within the broader literature on the role of language in cognition and the inner voice in consciousness. I argue that this role is not limited to checking the grammatical correctness of prospective utterances before they are spoken. Rather, it is a more broadly activity-structuring role, regulating and shaping the ongoing shape of human activity in the world. Through linking inner speech to the control of attention, I argue that the study of the functional role of inner speech should be a central area of analysis in our attempt to understand the development and qualitative character of human consciousness and that modelling can play a central role in that understanding.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Research in Cognitive Science, Department of Informatics, Sussex University, Brighton BN1 9QH, East Sussex, Email: robertc@sussex.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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