Human cognition

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Grumble
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Human cognition

Post by Grumble » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:53 pm

I’ve come to think that I’m fairly atypical in my cognition (based on what I’ve gleaned on Twitter): I don’t hear an inner dialogue, the closest I get is reading; I also don’t visualise things without substantial effort. I never realised this was unusual until fairly recently. I wonder if these modes of thinking go together or are completely unrelated, do I exist on the intersection of a Venn diagram not inhabited by many others or am I part of 49% of people who think in the same way what I does?

Do we have anyone with psychology skillz who can point me in the right direction?
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Re: Human cognition

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:43 am

We are treading perilously close to the arguments over learning styles or "VAK", aka visual, auditory, kinetic. The theory being that certain children learned better if information was presented in one of those three way. I always thought that no matter what the cognition of the pupil, how you taught the subject depended on what you were teaching: That physical things were best learned by doing etc. The VAK theory for teaching has been fairly thoroughly dismissed."If classification of students’ learning styles has practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated." Ouch.

I spent my childhood in a state of solipsism, believing that I was unique. Then in my productive years I realised that I was pretty much just like everyone else. But now I have reverted to my original belief that I am a fairly rare type of thinker. I can think visually: Construct a dodecahedron, visualise that, inscribe in that a cube, now construct a tetrahedron using four of the cube's vertices, got that? See it all? I can. But I still wouldn't learn a poem visually or a Scottish country dance as a verbal description. I have an internal monologue, but sometimes it shuts up and lets me just do things. Most of the time I just do things. I found it very difficult, when I started teaching to put words to how to use say a tenon saw, because I had never put words to it. Worse I had never thought about it consciously. To try and analyse what was actually going on with that simple task is difficult, involving different compliance of grip in different planes: firm to push the saw back and forth but less firm to guide it enough but to stop it binding.

How did you learn to read? I do not mean what pedagogical method was used but how did YOU learn? I doubt there is anyone can answer that, but still they feel confident pushing one method over another, in the face of no theoretical or analytic evidence. Pah! Actually scratch that; how did you learn to talk?

What I have learned is that my conscious mind, the ME, is pretty much going along for the ride. Like the rider of a horse may think they are in control, the horse has other ideas. That beeping sound that you have only just noticed has stopped, who the f.ck was listening to it whilst you were ignoring it? Or that optical illusion where you stare with one eye at a cross and put your blind spot on a defect in a checkerboard; you know there is a black square missing but you can't see the missing square so your mind fills in a square you know is not there. Not only does the secret committee of your subconscious keep an eye on things you are not aware of and keeps you unaware of, sometimes they lie to you just to keep you quiet. I find that rather disturbing.
...zoologically improbable and/or terrifying to small children.

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Re: Human cognition

Post by Grumble » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:42 am

Until this came up I assumed that hearing voices was a symptom of mental health disorders, not a normal thing that sometimes gets out of control.
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Re: Human cognition

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:18 am

Grumble wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:42 am
Until this came up I assumed that hearing voices was a symptom of mental health disorders, not a normal thing that sometimes gets out of control.
As far as I'm aware, the difference is between knowing that the voice is yourself, or a perception that the voice is in someway external to your own consciousness.

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Re: Human cognition

Post by Gentleman Jim » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:54 am

Blimey, if it was just voices, then I would have been locked up years ago

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Re: Human cognition

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:56 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:18 am
Grumble wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:42 am
Until this came up I assumed that hearing voices was a symptom of mental health disorders, not a normal thing that sometimes gets out of control.
As far as I'm aware, the difference is between knowing that the voice is yourself, or a perception that the voice is in someway external to your own consciousness.
Racing thoughts, a symptom of various psychiatric disorders but especially bipolar disorders and ADHD, are an interesting halfway house. The internal monologue gets out of conscious control and starts chucking in all sorts of other random stuff, but still isn't perceived as having an extrinsic origin as psychosis symptoms would be.

IANA psychiatrist and don't know if the phenomena are actually related.
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Re: Human cognition

Post by Grumble » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:12 pm

I’ve been listening to RHLSTP, there’s a good episode recently with Robin Ince, he talks about voices interrupting his thoughts while doing a stand up routine. I had assumed this was a metaphor but I guess it probably isn’t. I’ve had intrusive thoughts sometimes, particularly while driving. But I’ve never heard a voice tell me to drive into oncoming traffic, just the abstract thought that it’s something I could do.
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Re: Human cognition

Post by lpm » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:36 pm

How do you tell yourself stories?

For example, if I'm going into an awkward meeting - say complaining about the shoddy work the plumber has done - I will prepare via inner dialogue, "speaking" the various lines I could use to respond to various statements by the plumber. I get the story organised.

You make me wonder if I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I don’t do anything without the inner dialogue. I invite in other voices - for example, if I'm doing public speaking I picture an ex-boss who was a master at public speaking, and I let the inner dialogue become his voice and style.
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Re: Human cognition

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:36 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:56 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:18 am
Grumble wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:42 am
Until this came up I assumed that hearing voices was a symptom of mental health disorders, not a normal thing that sometimes gets out of control.
As far as I'm aware, the difference is between knowing that the voice is yourself, or a perception that the voice is in someway external to your own consciousness.
Racing thoughts, a symptom of various psychiatric disorders but especially bipolar disorders and ADHD, are an interesting halfway house. The internal monologue gets out of conscious control and starts chucking in all sorts of other random stuff, but still isn't perceived as having an extrinsic origin as psychosis symptoms would be.

IANA psychiatrist and don't know if the phenomena are actually related.
Good point.

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Re: Human cognition

Post by jaap » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:49 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:12 pm
I’ve been listening to RHLSTP, there’s a good episode recently with Robin Ince, he talks about voices interrupting his thoughts while doing a stand up routine. I had assumed this was a metaphor but I guess it probably isn’t. I’ve had intrusive thoughts sometimes, particularly while driving. But I’ve never heard a voice tell me to drive into oncoming traffic, just the abstract thought that it’s something I could do.
I've not listened to that episode so don't know if it was said, but such an urge (or voice) is also called the Imp of the Perverse.

I don't have much of an inner monologue either. Pretty much only when I'm actually composing text, preparing speech, or suppressing a few swears.

I think that as a kid I might have had what some people call a photographic memory, but for sure I had much better visual recall than I have now. On a puzzle hunt the group I was in missed a clue, and walked along the wrong route for a quarter of an hour. When we realised that, I was able to recall the street sign we missed, solve the clue, and tell the others where we went wrong. They were understandably pissed off that I hadn't said so before...
Last edited by jaap on Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Human cognition

Post by Grumble » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:50 pm

lpm wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:36 pm
How do you tell yourself stories?

For example, if I'm going into an awkward meeting - say complaining about the shoddy work the plumber has done - I will prepare via inner dialogue, "speaking" the various lines I could use to respond to various statements by the plumber. I get the story organised.

You make me wonder if I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I don’t do anything without the inner dialogue. I invite in other voices - for example, if I'm doing public speaking I picture an ex-boss who was a master at public speaking, and I let the inner dialogue become his voice and style.
I don’t tell myself stories really. I used to imagine how a conversation would go with someone, those arguments were invariably far worse than any that happened in reality so I stopped doing that. I wouldn’t describe it as hearing a voice though.

This all goes back to “how can you describe the colour red”, doesn’t it?
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Re: Human cognition

Post by Grumble » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:52 pm

jaap wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:49 pm
Grumble wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:12 pm
I’ve been listening to RHLSTP, there’s a good episode recently with Robin Ince, he talks about voices interrupting his thoughts while doing a stand up routine. I had assumed this was a metaphor but I guess it probably isn’t. I’ve had intrusive thoughts sometimes, particularly while driving. But I’ve never heard a voice tell me to drive into oncoming traffic, just the abstract thought that it’s something I could do.
I've not listened to that episode so don't know if it was said, but such an urge (or voice) is also called the Imp of the Perverse.

I don't have much of an inner monologue either. Pretty much only when I'm actually composing text, preparing speech, or suppressing a few swears.

I think that as a kid I might have had what some people call a photographic memory, but for sure I had much better visual recall than I have now. On a puzzle hunt the group I was in missed a clue, and walked along the wrong route for a quarter of an hour. When we realised that, I was able to recall the street sign we missed, solve the clue, and tell the others where we went wrong. They were understably pissed off that I hadn't said so before...
Oh god, I’m old friends with the imp of the perverse as described by Edgar Allen Poe.
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Re: Human cognition

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:50 pm
lpm wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:36 pm
How do you tell yourself stories?

For example, if I'm going into an awkward meeting - say complaining about the shoddy work the plumber has done - I will prepare via inner dialogue, "speaking" the various lines I could use to respond to various statements by the plumber. I get the story organised.

You make me wonder if I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I don’t do anything without the inner dialogue. I invite in other voices - for example, if I'm doing public speaking I picture an ex-boss who was a master at public speaking, and I let the inner dialogue become his voice and style.
I don’t tell myself stories really. I used to imagine how a conversation would go with someone, those arguments were invariably far worse than any that happened in reality so I stopped doing that.
For me, that's why I do it. If I've rehearsed all the bad outcomes in my head then reality is usually much easier.

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Re: Human cognition

Post by shpalman » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:25 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:43 am
We are treading perilously close to the arguments over learning styles or "VAK", aka visual, auditory, kinetic. The theory being that certain children learned better if information was presented in one of those three way. I always thought that no matter what the cognition of the pupil, how you taught the subject depended on what you were teaching: That physical things were best learned by doing etc. The VAK theory for teaching has been fairly thoroughly dismissed."If classification of students’ learning styles has practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated." Ouch.
Dance teachers around here are all about those three styles of learning and when they teach you to teach they insist that you have to recognise what kind of person you have in front of you, i.e. in which of those three styles they learn.

As if you wouldn't use all three in a dance lesson, not even taking into account that you have more than one person in your class.

Show them the move, explain to them how it works, and then dance it with them. It's not neuro-linguistic programming...
molto tricky

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Re: Human cognition

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:01 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:25 pm
Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:43 am
We are treading perilously close to the arguments over learning styles or "VAK", aka visual, auditory, kinetic. The theory being that certain children learned better if information was presented in one of those three way. I always thought that no matter what the cognition of the pupil, how you taught the subject depended on what you were teaching: That physical things were best learned by doing etc. The VAK theory for teaching has been fairly thoroughly dismissed."If classification of students’ learning styles has practical utility, it remains to be demonstrated." Ouch.
Dance teachers around here are all about those three styles of learning and when they teach you to teach they insist that you have to recognise what kind of person you have in front of you, i.e. in which of those three styles they learn.

As if you wouldn't use all three in a dance lesson, not even taking into account that you have more than one person in your class.

Show them the move, explain to them how it works, and then dance it with them. It's not neuro-linguistic programming...
Agreed, but you wouldn't even think of teaching without the showing and doing bit.
...zoologically improbable and/or terrifying to small children.

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Re: Human cognition

Post by Stephanie » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:12 am

I don't think we should confuse the learning styles stuff with this tbh.

I found some papers/articles when discussing internal monologues, that might be helpful here

Inner Speech: Development, Cognitive Functions, Phenomenology, and Neurobiology

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2016/02/22/yo ... ing-right/

https://www.psychologicalscience.org/ne ... ignal.html

There are also researchers using DES to find out this stuff:

Pristine Inner Experience and Descriptive Experience Sampling: Implications for Psychology
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