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Thesis Téo PESCI


From 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2026

Inner voices: form and function of endophasia in auditory verbal aphantasia

There is a theoretical debate about the format and function of inner speech, also known as voice in the head, verbal thought or endophasia. Some observed variations in format can be explained by the functions of endophasia. Some researchers suggest that the auditory (i.e. sensory) format of endophasia allows us to become aware of our thoughts, to focus on them and to control our cognitive processes. Endophasia, in an auditory format, would therefore support cognition and metacognition.
However, recent evidence questions the cognitive and metacognitive functions of the inner voice. Indeed, a significant part of the typical population (2 to 6%) reports that their inner language is not accompanied by any sensation, neither sound, nor articulation or visual correlate. These individuals report not being able to mentally evoke a sound or a speech gesture, while their cognition and metacognition are functional. This mode of cognitive functioning, which seems to rely on amodal mental representations, has only been described very recently (2015). It is called auditory verbal aphantasia, and there is no test that allows it to be objectively assessed in an individual.
If it turns out that verbal auditory aphantasia does correspond to an absence of auditory correlates of endophasia, then theories of embodied cognition, which rely on internal sensory simulations, must be revisited. The aim of this thesis project is (1) to provide a means of objectively measuring auditory verbal imagery and attesting to its lack (aphantasia) and (2) to describe the mental strategies used in auditory verbal aphantasia during cognitive and metacognitive operations that, in the typical population, require inner language in a sound format.

Supervisors :
Hélène LOEVENBRUCK (helene[dot]loevenbruck[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr)
Alan CHAUVIN (alan[dot]chauvin[at]univ-grenoble-alpes[dot]fr) (Co-encadrant) 

Keywords IAphantasia,Inner speech,Auditory imagery,Endophasia,Mental imagery,


From 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2026


MESRI - Dotation EPSCP

Submitted on 17 November 2023

Updated on 17 November 2023