Interfering With Inner Speech Selectively Disrupts Problem Solving and Is Linked With Real-World Executive Functioning Purpose According to Vygotskian theory, verbal thinking serves to guide our behavior and underpins critical self-regulatory functions. Indeed, numerous studies now link inner speech usage with performance on tests of executive function (EF). However, the selectivity of inner speech contributions to multifactorial executive planning performance and links with real-world functioning ... Research Note
Newly Published
Research Note  |   November 09, 2017
Interfering With Inner Speech Selectively Disrupts Problem Solving and Is Linked With Real-World Executive Functioning
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gregory L. Wallace
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The George Washington University, DC
  • Cynthia S. Peng
    Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, The George Washington University, DC
  • David Williams
    School of Psychology, University of Kent, United Kingdom
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Greg Wallace: gwallac1@gwu.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Bharath Chandrasekaran
    Associate Editor: Bharath Chandrasekaran×
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Note
Research Note   |   November 09, 2017
Interfering With Inner Speech Selectively Disrupts Problem Solving and Is Linked With Real-World Executive Functioning
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0376
History: Received September 23, 2016 , Revised March 27, 2017 , Accepted July 14, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0376
History: Received September 23, 2016; Revised March 27, 2017; Accepted July 14, 2017

Purpose According to Vygotskian theory, verbal thinking serves to guide our behavior and underpins critical self-regulatory functions. Indeed, numerous studies now link inner speech usage with performance on tests of executive function (EF). However, the selectivity of inner speech contributions to multifactorial executive planning performance and links with real-world functioning are limited. Therefore, the present study seeks to fill this gap in our knowledge.

Method Fifty-one adults completed the Tower of London under 2 conditions, (a) articulatory suppression and (b) foot tapping, and provided self-ratings of real-world executive functioning (utilizing the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function–Adult Version; Roth, Isquith, & Gioia, 2006).

Results Interfering with inner speech selectively disrupted Tower of London performance over and above a simultaneous motor task (i.e., foot tapping). Furthermore, this selectivity in performance was linked with real-world self-monitoring.

Conclusion These results provide further evidence for specific links between verbal thinking and EF (particularly using multifactorial tasks of planning) and suggest that inner speech might serve as a key intervention target in clinical disorders where EF deficits are prominent.

Acknowledgment
We would like to express our gratitude to the individuals who volunteered their time to contribute to this research.
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