1.2 – A Private Language

Sometimes we plan our voluntary movements in order to reproduce remembered positive experiences – or even to achieve novel combinations of such experiences that we imagine may be even more satisfying. Since our imagination and memory are generally not fully detailed reproductions of the immediate experience, it may be necessary to simplify our mental representation of objects in an imagined scenario. We may associate a simple sound with the stuffed toy we want to snuggle or the soother we want to suck, and use these as a private language to stimulate memory and imagination of various scenarios – much as a mathematician may also develop a private language to label objects and relationships that are too complex to call to mind in complete detail (long before – or without ever- using those terms to communicate with anyone else).