People Often “Hear Voices” While Reading


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.

Vilhauer, Ruvanee P. “Inner Reading Voices: An Overlooked Form of Inner Speech.” Psychosis 0, no. 0 (April 29, 2015): 1–11. doi:10.1080/17522439.2015.1028972. (Abstract) (Full text)


  1. I “heard voices” while on the antipsychotics. Thankfully, they went away when I went off them – unless, of course, you consider an inner voice of common sense “voices,” as the psychiatric industry does. My psychologist also thought gut instincts, dreams, and thoughts were all “voices,” too though.

    Based upon my research, it appears the psychiatric community as a whole doesn’t do much thinking, so they think those of us who do think have “voices.” What a bizarre industry – one which doesn’t think and believes a book of stigmatizations is a “bible.” I’ve never met more delusional and crazy people in all my life – an industry which believes gas lighting, defaming, and torturing people is medical care.

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