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Cognition and ASL:
In a message dated 8/18/2006 10:04:03 PM Pacific Daylight Time, a student writes:
Much human thought occurs without being processed as either sounds or images.
When you ride a bike you don't think to yourself, "left foot push down, right foot push down, left foot push down." When you brush your teeth you don't think the words, "back, forth, back, forth." You just do the movement.
Deaf people, who have never heard sound, do engage in "image-based" thought as well as non-image based thought.
Image-based thought is not limited to just Deaf people. Hearing people occasionally engage in "image-based" thought. For example, a basket ball player visualizing the ball going into the basket or an Olympic athlete visually rehearsing her routine.
The next time someone does the gesture, "come here," ask yourself, did you interpret it in your mind as the words "come here" or did you just start walking? The next time someone asks for a volunteer and you raise your hand, take a moment to reflect on whether you said any words in your head, or if you just raised your hand. Obviously "thinking" took place, but it didn't require "inner speech" or verbalization.