Do You Have an Internal Monologue?

PoolBum

Ace in the side.
Silver Member
Is it really possible to have conscious thought that isn't in a human language?

I don't think it is.

Einstein said that he did not think in a human language:

"The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be "voluntarily" reproduced and combined...taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought--before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others."

From "A Mathematician's Mind, Testimonial for An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field by Jacques S. Hadamard, Princeton University Press, 1945." in Ideas and Opinions.

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/Goodies/Einstein_think/
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I guess music could also be an exception...?
Einstein said that he did not think in a human language:

"The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be "voluntarily" reproduced and combined...taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought--before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others."

From "A Mathematician's Mind, Testimonial for An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field by Jacques S. Hadamard, Princeton University Press, 1945." in Ideas and Opinions.

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/Goodies/Einstein_think/
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
To answer your question first, I do have internal dialogue, lots of it. It is gender neutral English dialogue,

My inner voice is a part of me, my self. If it was a female voice I would definitely notice. My assertion that it is gender neutral is likely false. It was a “what the hell is water” moment for me, there, but not noticed.

Location of the voice and tone can be moved. Working with a player who had a critical inner voice, we decided to not fight the voice. Instead we moved it to his big toe and had it criticize him using a Mickey Mouse voice. It lost its power. He came back to me later telling me that he realized the critical voice was saying what a family member used to say to him.
 
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BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
This seems like a good strategy. I’m going to give it a shot, lol. My inner dialogue, like others have said is like their “reading voice”, keeps me up at night. Blocking out my thoughts seems like a tough endeavor

Yes! My internal narrator of life keeps me up at night also. I lie in bed thinking of the day, of things I did or things I didn't do but should have done. I tell myself to go to sleep! But my internal narrator then wants to discuss something that happened in the past, or something that could possibly happen in the future. The only time there's no internal dialogue going on is when I'm doing something that keeps my mind occupied/focused on the task at hand.

But occasionally, despite attempts to stop it, a dialogue starts up. I mean, I see what I want to do, what needs to happen, and just before I do it the narrator says, "That might not be the best idea."

I tell myself, "It doesn't have to be the best idea as long as it works." "Slacker." "I'm not slacking, just keeping it real." "Whatever." "Screw you... I got this." ...

Meanwhile, my subconscious -- the part of the brain that already knows how to do whatever it is I'm looking at doing -- is no longer in control of the execution process. Instead it's my conscious thought process trying to control everything, trying to prove something to that internal narrator. The outcome typical only prove one thing: When it comes to performance, conscious/deliberate effort produces lousy results when compared to what the ubconscious is capable of doing.
 

PoolBum

Ace in the side.
Silver Member
I guess music could also be an exception...?

I think so. Just "listening" to music in your mind may be a form of thought that is not essentially linguistic. Einstein described some of the elements of his thought as "visual and muscular" as well.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My inner voice is a part of me, my self. If it was a female voice I would definitely notice. My assertion that it is gender neutral is likely false. It was a “what the hell is water” moment for me, there, but not noticed.

Location of the voice and tone can be moved. Working with a player who had a critical inner voice, we decided to not fight the voice. Instead we moved it to his big toe and had it criticize him using a Mickey Mouse voice. It lost its power. He came back to me later telling me that he realized the critical voice was saying what a family member used to say to him.


Scarlett Johansson talking to me in my head all the time would be a problem.

Lou Figueroa
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Scarlett Johansson talking to me in my head all the time would be a problem.

Lou Figueroa

Giving my inner critic a bad stutter and a lisp sounds like a good plan. This has been a great thread for me. I can see how this all relates to mindset during the zone. I’m an auditory dominant person. That also means the source of my biggest distractions at the table are sounds. Conversations that I hear seem the worst. On the other hand if someone is close behind me when at the table it draws my attention away as well.

For me making the visuals my dominant content in my awareness, takes me away from my predominantly auditory state. It alters my otherwise auditory zone and shifts me to a more hand/eye state of mind.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Giving my inner critic a bad stutter and a lisp sounds like a good plan. This has been a great thread for me. I can see how this all relates to mindset during the zone. I’m an auditory dominant person. That also means the source of my biggest distractions at the table are sounds. Conversations that I hear seem the worst. On the other hand if someone is close behind me when at the table it draws my attention away as well.

For me making the visuals my dominant content in my awareness, takes me away from my predominantly auditory state. It alters my otherwise auditory zone and shifts me to a more hand/eye state of mind.


I think, if you can do it, the best option when playing pool is an on/off switch.

I don't actually have to think about doing so but s I've noted, when playing, my IM goes into silent mode, which I consider a blessing.

Lou Figueroa
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think, if you can do it, the best option when playing pool is an on/off switch.

I don't actually have to think about doing so but s I've noted, when playing, my IM goes into silent mode, which I consider a blessing.

Lou Figueroa

We all do it. We tune things out so we can focus on, whatever. The issue for some will be about tuning out. For others, it may be what to focus in on. A surgeon may need to hone in on the physical precision (feel), while another may need to sharpen focus on the visual exactness, for the same task.

It often needs a combination of the skill of blocking distractions and transitioning onto the elements of the task at hand that raise the performance level.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
I wouldn't know how to play without one. I remember Jimmy Reid talking a lot about it.



So I recently read an article that was incredibly surprising to me -- that not every human being has the ability to conduct an internal monologue with themselves:

https://ryanandrewlangdon.wordpress...-internal-monologue-and-it-has-ruined-my-day/

IOWs, some people can't silently talk to themselves inside their brain.

How is this possible?!

So anyways, I was thinking about this as it pertains to pool and was wondering if, ferinstance, while I was playing Francisco Bustamonte at the DCC a few days ago, was I having an internal monologue during my runs during which I talked and debated with myself about what to do next on each shot.

And I came to the conclusion, that even though I can and do have internal monologues with myself, when I'm shooting pool, especially when running balls, I do not have an internal monologue going on and my thought process becomes unspoken and abstract. Crazy.

How about youz? Do you have or not have internal monologues, particularly when shooting pool?

Lou Figueroa
 

jimmyg

Mook! What's a Mook?
Silver Member
Been engaged in a little extra internal monologue concerning internal monologue since reading the different experiences of others. While I can't claim any more actual knowledge about the general topic, I can expand my own experiences and thoughts about the subject.

Generally, I'm leaning towards the belief that the various personal experiences all fall under the same umbrella...the brain is communicating thoughts to each individual in the manner in which their brain is "wired". Some in sound, others in words not spoken, but still understood, and still others possibly in pictures or video...like dreams. Some individuals are wired to receive their thoughts in several different media transmissions.

I hear no sound, but still understand my thoughts in basic words, I often see visuals, both stills and in motion (as with dreams), but cannot recall ever hearing "voices in my head", which, if I did, I may find a little disturbing. I mostly direct my inner monologue to specific topics, and sometimes the inner monologue is a topic not of my choosing, sometimes welcome, often not. Turning the unwanted monologue off is occasionally easier said than done.

I would imagine not being able to control the "monologue", in the extreme, can be maddening. :eek:
 
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Benward452

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My internal monologue while reading this post is about how AZb’s forum can go from discussing the conspiracy theories in the 626 thread to having such an interesting conversation about internal monologues.

I find this topic incredibly interesting and can’t believe others don’t have a mini-me in their brain talking to them.

One of the most revelatory things I learned/realized from this thread is that I can’t change the volume of my internal voice. Very interesting and not something I have ever took notice of.

The human brain is cool.

Any tips on how you turn your’s off in heated/stressful competition is welcome. #chronicchoker
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We all do it. We tune things out so we can focus on, whatever. The issue for some will be about tuning out. For others, it may be what to focus in on. A surgeon may need to hone in on the physical precision (feel), while another may need to sharpen focus on the visual exactness, for the same task.

It often needs a combination of the skill of blocking distractions and transitioning onto the elements of the task at hand that raise the performance level.


I think you're right.

Muzzling the little sucker is a skill unto itself.

Lou Figueroa
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My internal monologue while reading this post is about how AZb’s forum can go from discussing the conspiracy theories in the 626 thread to having such an interesting conversation about internal monologues.

I find this topic incredibly interesting and can’t believe others don’t have a mini-me in their brain talking to them.

One of the most revelatory things I learned/realized from this thread is that I can’t change the volume of my internal voice. Very interesting and not something I have ever took notice of.

The human brain is cool.

Any tips on how you turn your’s off in heated/stressful competition is welcome. #chronicchoker


I think you just have to tell it to STFU and work towards maintaining a clear mind.

For moi it just happens automatically but I'm not so sure it was always that way. And in part I think it's just a matter of learning how to concentrate and focus at a higher level of intensity than you currently do.

Lou Figueroa
 

Ghosst

Broom Handle Mafia
Silver Member
Any tips on how you turn your’s off in heated/stressful competition is welcome. #chronicchoker

See below...

...I often remind myself not to indulge them and instead I try to bring myself back to the present by concentrating on something like the feel of the cloth or the sensation of my feet. Since your mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time this works very well. Remembering to do it is the hard part.
 

strmanglr scott

All about Focus
Silver Member
My mind has always been running overtime. Since getting older it has cut some of the overtime.

Meditation and breathing exercises can help shut this inner voice down or off completely. If you have trouble quieting the mind during meditation, do counted breathing, in on a 4 count, hold for a 4 count, release on a four count. Or, focus on relaxed breathing, don't control it but observe it, let it go and just focus on the rhythm. Great way to go to sleep too.

If you can practice that, you will get better at it.

With pool inner thoughts can wreak havoc. Shutting that voice off is a part of my PSR. All is thought out before bending over on the shot, when I get down on a shot and I'm well focused, there is no thought. I'm in the moment and I can feel the cue and table and that's about it. I don't see as much either, I develop a tunnel vision that only is as big as the shot.

When you can get to a point of quieting the mind you're more in a subconscious state. Many people I've talked to have played their best pool like this. It's almost like flipping a switch, the mind isn't focused on what the conscious is battering about, the mind is in a more physically focused state. It's doing, it's not thinking.

This all goes back to the Inner Game of Golf. That author explains it much better than I am.
 

Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think you're right.

Muzzling the little sucker is a skill unto itself.

Lou Figueroa

I’m aware that when I’m in the zone, there is no muzzle. That said there is a foreground/background dynamic happening. Where the auditory channel is my default for everyday living and is the foreground life track, the rest is relegated to the background, but comes forward on command of my auditory self.

When in the zone, the auditory part still lays out the game plan and deploys resources, it also relegates itself to the background. My visual self (subconscious) becomes dominant with some sense, more unconscious, of the feel part of the game. Since being in a visual mode is a different state than the everyday dialogue I live with, the state seems different, a light trance state. I need the kinesthetic part of the game to stay as unconscious as possible, that part is where feelings live and I want to be as detached as possible. Staying in a visual world that is foreground and everything else as background works best for me.

I happen to be auditory dominant so this relates to me being auditory in consciousness, visual in my subconscious and kinesthetic in the unconscious. Most people are visual in consciousness. Look up Markova stacks to get a sense of this concept at work. It was part of research into learning styles. Switching into the subconscious sensory mode induced a mild trance. My experience is that trance is my peak performance state. My subconscious is predominantly visual. If I start to go to my unconscious awareness, heightened feel, I can trance out and sometimes lose my pattern or the visuals or be disrupted by stress feelings. While feel is great in my background, putting it up front, I’m either brilliant or distracted. I need the right foreground but the dynamic for me is my own. Markova insights can let you find your own.

This is recent awareness for me. I’m just learning how to foreground/background my sensory state. Most of that has been done off the table. Thinking about possible scenarios and how to adjust based on table situations I face.

Sometimes on difficult cueing I become too grip aware. That’s probably not going to change. I can get up and decide the whole stroke/grip thing while up then shift my shot dynamic to the visuals, where to aim and putting the cue ball on a line to the target.

If a conversation nearby becomes foreground (auditory) I need to stop and pay attention to it. (Trying to ignore something rarely works). The talking is likely going to get boring fast then I can get back to seeing the things I need to see to perform. The point is that when something pulls me away from a visuals foreground I need to stop and recalibrate back to a visual foreground awareness.

My team are testing these ideas. I just got a message from a teammate whose subconscious is auditory. His inner voice directs the action and is an active cheerleading source. He has phrases like “ok, you’ve got this” that help control his state. His last message was “ That inner talk is true to success. ”

The trick is to find out your dominant sense, that will be the one you process most every day. Then figure out what sense you are the least aware of. That will be the sense relegated to the unconscious. Whatever state is left is the one that when you foreground it, will put you in a light trance state. From that center position you have access to conscious and unconscious resources.

My personal experience has been that I’m not losing being in stroke as easily and seem to get back in quickly. Who knows it could be a placebo effect. I’ll take it whatever it is. Hoping it stays a difference maker.

Relating this to the missing inner dialogue I would say those people have their auditory stuff relegated to the unconscious. The conscious mind tends to be linear and able to dissect stuff in thinking. The unconscious experiences things more in wholes. The linear separateness of language structure is not the primary domain of the unconscious auditory. And abstract language concepts become more difficult. The auditory unconscious is sensitive to tones of voice though.

The flip side is that the subconscious and conscious mind are poised for hand/eye coordination, being visual and kinesthetic. They pick up sports skills quickly and easily, by watching and doing.
 
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Imac007

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My team are testing these ideas. I just got a message from a teammate whose subconscious is auditory. His inner voice directs the action and is an active cheerleading source. He has phrases like “ok, you’ve got this” that help control his state. His last message was “ That inner talk is true to success. ”

The trick is to find out your dominant sense, that will be the one you process most every day. Then figure out what sense you are the least aware of. That will be the sense relegated to the unconscious. Whatever state is left is the one that when you foreground it, will put you in a light trance state. From that center position you have access to conscious and unconscious resources.

My personal experience has been that I’m not losing being in stroke as easily and seem to get back in quickly. Who knows it could be a placebo effect. I’ll take it whatever it is. Hoping it stays a difference maker.

Relating this to the missing inner dialogue I would say those people have their auditory stuff relegated to the unconscious. The conscious mind tends to be linear and able to dissect stuff in thinking. The unconscious experiences things more in wholes. The linear separateness of language structure is not the primary domain of the unconscious auditory. And abstract language concepts become more difficult. The auditory unconscious is sensitive to tones of voice though.

The flip side is that the subconscious and conscious mind are poised for hand/eye coordination, being visual and kinesthetic. They pick up sports skills quickly and easily, by watching and doing.

UPDATE
Last century, a sport scientist, by the name of Robert Nideffer, looked at attention. His book A.C.T., Attention Control Training, outlined some interesting findings. He discovered that people had different attention styles. By looking at where people were focusing their attention during everyday functioning, he put them in four categories. He looked at focus. How wide was their focus, narrow or broad? Next, did they tend to focus inward or outward?

He also acknowledged that tasks had different attentional demands. Next, he looked at the effects of stress on executing tasks. He found that the first response to stress was for people to go to their natural style, their comfort zone. As stress increased their attention tended to narrow and internalize.

After realizing this, the next step was to recognize when attention was in the wrong place, and change it, a great strategy,but... As a coach it was tricky. If I recognize the inward focus, telling the player about it just gets them inside their head worrying about being there. My job was to move them outward onto the relevant thinking needed in the situation.

The insight, Markova had that brains organize what we see, hear and feel across consciousness, can lead to a similar issue. In my case my sensory dominance across the conscious, subconscious and unconscious is organized in an AVK personal profile. My performance strengths occur when I focus on the visual and feel dynamics. If I find myself in talk mode, my comfort zone, talking to myself, about being there, is counter productive. I’m both inside my head and processing the wrong sensory data.

That was my world yesterday, when trying to get my mind off inner dialogue. Of course, adjusting on the fly meant reverting to my usual process. Aiming and straight stroking live there and that tends to work, being in better sensory mode. That world tends to be nearly totally visual, in terms of awareness. Past experience tells me that a hole in my game is that my position thinking is not always fine tuned, sometime shape is into too general a zone and/or lacking proper pace. Past experience reminded me that during peak performance when both ends of the shot are looked at, plus the exact positioning from the next shot to its positional shot are also looked at and to the point of even the testing the stroking from there. The short version is that I now put my hand or tip of my cue on the table where I need the cue ball to settle. This is not new and in retrospect there when in top gear, focused and precise.

I’m reminded of a post, in the threads, where the writer talked about players who miss a shot and point to their perfect shape. His point was that, if they actually pocketed the ball, the shape wouldn’t be there. His second point was that there is a stage players get to where the imagined shot, shot plus position are interrelated. If your shot picture is true, you can’t get the calculated position without the ball going in.

Picking a spot for the cue ball to land triggers my unconscious feel side to generate the needed stroke. It straddles my awareness between my subconscious visuals and unconscious feel resources, a mild trance state for me.

This thread started as an exploration of having dialogue in consciousness. As an auditory dominant, bringing out the implications seemed relevant.
 
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