Talking out loud to yourself is a technology for thinking

I ran across this article this evening and some of the ideas resonate strongly with me. The article mentions some areas of psychology research and a few papers I hadn’t seen before.

I’m also particularly interested in the idea of embodied cognition within cognitive psychology. Has anyone delved into these areas in their research or memory-related work? @LynneKelly’s research and written texts encourage singing, dancing and performing (I don’t recall specifically speaking or walking in her contexts, but I’m sure they’re all closely related), but has anyone else experimented with these additional modalities in their practice?

Most of the Western-based mnemotechniques I’m aware of are focused almost solely on internalized speech/thought. Can anyone think of any which aren’t?

I’ve seen several works in which Nassim Nicholas Taleb propounds the benefits of the flaneur lifestyle for improving thought, though his mentions are purely anecdotal as I recall. I’d appreciate any additional references to research in these areas if others are aware.


This is a really interesting article. I am going to try talking out loud to myself more. I surround myself with ‘characters’ in the form of dolls and toy bears, and talk out loud to them endlessly. They each have a role within my memory world or the topics I am researching or experimenting with.

I did write briefly about walking as part of the memory system. I think that I only mentioned it in The Memory Code. It was something I referred to quite a few times. At one stage I wrote:

“The concept of walking along processional routes while chanting songs is one which will recur throughout this book because there is no better way to create a memory space. Even when the chanter is away from the site, they will be able to imagine their procession and recall the songs and associated knowledge.”

But I didn’t take about it in a contemporary context, nor as part of talking out loud to yourself. What Id described was more for pure memory, not for analysis and clarification. I find that a really interesting and promising idea.



Thanks for sharing this article here. I’d read it but hadn’t though to post it in this Forum, which of course, is a very good and helpful idea. Looking forward to other such shares.

I use walking and talking aloud for solving or thinking through “mental” or logistical issues/problems. As I walk my dog, I talk to him and thank heavens that bluetooth has made such a sight look normal :slight_smile: Talking aloud, as does writing, forces my mind to stay on point rather than either skipping over items (my mind trying to dodge important points) or “looping” (where I think the same thought over and over, without moving beyond it). I haven’t linked the method to memory techniques as I am usually trying to visualize rather than verbalize (I haven’t tried chanting/singing, etc).