UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Speech Science Forum 4th March - Hélène Lœvenbruck

04 March 2021, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Please join us on the 4th of March for Dr. Hélène Lœvenbruck's talk entitled, "Inner speech variations over condensation, dialogality and intentionality: a neurocognitive model"

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Dr. Antony Scott Trotter – Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Science

Title: Inner speech variations over condensation, dialogality and intentionality: a neurocognitive model


“Woo-hoo, donuts! Marge, you’re awesome!”

“Mmm, Homer!? It was modelling clay…!”

When you silently read a comic strip, can you take different voices? different perspectives?

Introspective descriptions and empirical data suggest that, because of the diversity of its uses, inner language comes in many forms. Three main dimensions have been described.On the condensation axis, inner language can sometimes take condensed forms, which are deprived of acoustic, phonological and syntactic qualities, whereas expanded forms display full articulatory and auditory properties. On the dialogality axis, inner language varies between monologal forms, when we engage in internal soliloquy, and dialogal forms, when we recall past dialogues or imagine future conversations. On the intentionality axis, inner language can be intentional (when we deliberately rehearse material in memory) or it can arise unintentionally (during mind wandering). To account for varieties of inner language along these three dimensions, we have introduced the ConDialInt Model, a neurocognitive sketch of inner language, cast within a predictive control framework. Using fMRI, we probed varieties of inner speech along dialogality and intentionality, to examine the validity of the neuroanatomical correlates posited in ConDialInt. Condensation was also informally tackled. Our results provide neuroanatomical evidence compatible with the assumptions made in the ConDialInt Model.

About the Speaker

Dr. Hélène Lœvenbruck

CNRS Researcher at Université Grenoble Alpes

Language is at the core of humanity because it serves three essential functions : communication, thought and autonoesis, i.e. self-awareness in time.

These functions depend on one another, they are intertwined. They require a systemic cybernetics, a general control mechanism governing our verbal exchanges (for the communicative function), controlling our inner verbalisations (for the cognitive function) and monitoring self- and other- agency in our autobiographical narrative constructions (for the metacognitive function of autonoesis).

Hélène's research is focused on this verbal cybernetics : she aims to better understand the neurobiological mechanisms that sustain the regulation of (overt and covert) language production and reception.

To this aim, with her colleagues at LPNC and other labs, she collect introspective, behavioural and neurophysiological data on (overt or covert) language production or perception, in adults, in infant or children, and in people with language, hearing, neurological or psychiatric disorders. She am also engaged in developing therapeutic, educative and technological applications of this research.

More about Dr. Hélène Lœvenbruck