Can we think without using language?

Humans have been expressing thoughts with language for tens of thousands (or maybe hundreds of thousands) of years. It’s a hallmark of our species – so much so that scientists once speculated that the ability to speak was the main difference between us and other animals. And we bothered about each other’s thoughts for as long as we could talk about it.

“The question of ‘penny for your thoughts,’ I think is as old as mankind,” Russell Hurlburt, a research psychologist at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who studies how people formulate thoughts, told Live Science. But how do scientists study the relationship between thought and language? And is it possible to think without words? Can we think without using language?

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