I saw a page about speed-reading that talked about subvocalization in speed-reading:
One of the basic goals is the elimination of subvocalization, claimed to be the thing that slows readers down the most. Subvocalization is the imagined pronunciation of every word we read. I do this a lot, and it limits my reading speed to virtually the same as my talking speed. Subvocalization is even accompanied by minute movements of the tongue and throat muscles. Nearly every speed reading class promises the elimination of subvocalization.
Here’s the problem with that. You can’t read without subvocalization. Carver and Rayner have both found that even the fastest readers all subvocalize. Even skimmers subvocalize key words. This is detectable, even among speed readers who think they don’t do it, by the placement of electromagnetic sensors on the throat which pick up the faint nerve impulses sent to the muscles. Our brains just don’t seem to be able to completely divorce reading from speaking. NASA has even built systems to pick up these impulses, using them to browse the web or potentially even control a spacecraft. Chuck Jorgensen, who ran a team at NASA in 2004 developing this system, said:
“Biological signals arise when reading or speaking to oneself with or without actual lip or facial movement. A person using the subvocal system thinks of phrases and talks to himself so quietly, it cannot be heard, but the tongue and vocal chords do receive speech signals from the brain.”
Let me know what you think, especially about subvocalizing during memorization. It would be interesting to wire up some memory athletes to see if they unconsciously subvocalize.