Helen Keller knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over her hand but being able to say this word on March 3rd, 1887 awakened her soul, gave it light, hope, joy, setting her free! We cannot see thoughts or ideas, but they have a way of becoming words, and when Descartes was contemplating his own existence, he said “I think therefore, I am.” The human brain controls the vocal folds of the larynx, or voice box and the lip, tongue, and throat muscles, which are needed to produce sounds. Brain cells located in the dorsal laryngeal motor cortex area encode the command signals that are sent to our mouths, and our muscles move in response to these signals so we can produce the correct words relating to our thoughts.
I imagine that words can spur thoughts, especially when you are trying to say something that is stuck on the tip of your tongue. Saying phrases like , “hold on, wait a minute, or I almost got it” can improve your concentration and help you break the disconnect between what you are trying to say and what you are thinking. Since I am not a brain surgeon, I have no idea how this interaction works.
Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge prompt 153 – where she asks three questions. 1. How do my thoughts get processed into words? 2. Or do my words spur thoughts? 3. How do they interact?