General Question

pallen123's avatar

Why do people stick their tongue out while concentrating?

Asked by pallen123 (1514points) March 28th, 2012

Often when writing or doing crafts people stick their tongue out the corner of mouth. Why?

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13 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

The tongue has one of the largest representations both in motor cortex and sensory cortex of any appendage.

Read the link. When the brain is concentrating on a motor and sensory skill combined, is when this occurs for some people.

It is common to see this in kids/adults with sensory disorders, too.

Coloma's avatar

Well…first, some people. I do not stick my tongue out when I am concentrating. It is a reflex for some, but not all. I think it’s a good idea to catch the tongue sticking out if you can, for those that are troubled by this affliction. lol

WestRiverrat's avatar

I learned early that sticking my tongue out hurts, so I haven’t done it since I was a 5 year old.

Don’t believe me, stick your tongue out and jump off the garage roof.

Aster's avatar

I’ve never done it but for those who do they must think subconsciously it’ll help them to concentrate? I tend to chew my bottom lip.

thorninmud's avatar

One theory is that it helps stifle subvocalization. When you’re silently speaking to yourself, the brain actually sends signals to the tongue, lips and vocal chords, triggering very slight movements, almost undetectable. This is called subvocalization. It could be that immobilizing the tongue and the lips by clamping the tip of the tongue between the lips sends feedback to the brain that it needs to shut up so you can concentrate on what you’re doing.

It’s interesting that meditators are told to keep the tip of the tongue pressed up against the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth, and to keep the lips closed. I think this is for the same reason.

ShaChris23's avatar

@thorninmud I am blown away by your answer. How did you come to know this bit of information?

janbb's avatar

My Dad always did this when he was dancing. A friend of theirs just brought me a photo of my parents dancing; it was very poignant since they are both dead now.

thorninmud's avatar

@ShaChris23 It’s kinda my job

woodcutter's avatar

Because it pays to concentrate on staying on the clit.

whitecarnations's avatar

Well Michael Jordan did it because his spatial vision/concentration was off the charts. This phenomena is best explained with @SpatzieLover ‘s answer :P

dabbler's avatar

“Meditators are told to keep the tip of the tongue pressed up against the roof of the mouth” This is to provide shakti energy, flowing up the spine into the head, a channel for flowing back down to the muladhara at the base of the spine. It’s one of the bhandas, locks, practiced to control the flow of the shakti.
It’s not to suppress subvocalization in this case.

dubsrayboo's avatar

My daughter thinks with her tongue and she’s loving me reading her most of this thread. I just talk to myself when I’m thinking.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

<sitcks tongue out while reading all the comments>

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