Many people “hear voices” of different kinds while reading, according to a study in Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches. Author Ruvanee Vilhauer suggested the findings may have usefulness for research into auditory-verbal hallucinations (AVHs).
Vilhauer, a psychologist at Felician College, analyzed one hundred and sixty posts about inner reading voices (IRVs) on a popular question-and-answer website. She found that, “many individuals report routinely experiencing IRVs, which often have the auditory qualities of overt speech, such as recognizable identity, gender, pitch, loudness and emotional tone.”
These voices were “sometimes identified as the readers’ own voices, and sometimes as the voices of other people,” and were described at times as both “controllable and uncontrollable.”
“IRVs may be a useful model for studying AVHs in the non-clinical population and need further investigation,” concluded Vilhauer.