135+ Ways To Increase Verbal Fluency, Fluidity, and Recall (And What To Avoid)

Increase Your Ability To Speak Fluently

Talking can be hard sometimes. That's why there's science to help you increase your ability to speak well. Check out the sweet list below to increase verbal fluency!

 
 

Basics

Have you ever had trouble continuing or finishing your sentence?

Do you easily get stuck on words, like saying things such as "um" and "uh"? 

Well now for only 10 easy payments of $19.95, you can have your very own speech bot and speak like a genius!

Seriously, I have one. Just look uh, how good um, I is now at uhm...speaking. Yes, speaking, that's the um, word.

Well anyway, below is a science-based (no reference = anecdotal) list of all the ways to increase verbal fluency and recall (and what to stay away from).

What You Should Know About Verbal Fluency

 
 

Verbal fluency is generally divided into two – category fluency (CF) and letter fluency (LF). R

Each assess language functions (vocabulary size, naming), speed of response, mental organization, search strategies and long-term memory. R

Women perform better at verbal fluency tests than men. R

Education is correlated with better verbal fluency. R

IQ is usually not. R

Verbal fluency seems to get worse with age, while there is increased inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. R R

Lack of confidence and Autism Spectrum Disorders can also contribute to verbal fluency.  R

Verbal fluency is positively associated with induced positive mood and correlated with the right temporal love, left frontal cortex, the left parahippocampal gyrus, the arcuate fasciculus, and the hippocampus (fornix). R R R R R R R

Design fluency is positively associated with induced negative mood and correlated with both the right and left frontal cortexes. R R

Decreased verbal fluency been shown in patients that have lesions in the frontal and temporal lobes. R

Verbal fluency can act as a possible predictor for psychosis. R

Many psychologists think that when you try to recall a word, you create a spreading network of semantic associations. R

A lot of what holds us back on speech is too much activation of the brain, especially in the amygdala. R

Fear is controlled by the amygdala. R

Among other genes, both COMT and DAOA (SNP rs746187), (the gene that helps activate of D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO), which degrades the gliotransmitter D-serine, a potent activator of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type glutamate receptors), play a major role in cognitive function and verbal fluency. R R

What Increases Verbal Fluency

Working on behavior and mindset are the two biggest things one can do. Supplements are good for short-term.

Lifestyle And Diseases

Supplements And Foods

Hormones

Drugs, And Chemicals

  • Adrafinil
  • Amphetamines (but chronic use can decrease verbal fluency) R R R
  • Aniracetam R
  • Arecoline R
  • Blonanserin R
  • Bromantane
  • Bromocriptine R
  • Carbenoxolone (licorice root) R
  • Centrophenoxine
  • Cerebrolysin
  • Clozapine R
  • Colouracetam
  • Erythropoietin R
  • Etanercept R
  • Fampridine R
  • Fasoracetam
  • Dihexa
  • Donepezil R
  • Haloperidol R
  • Idebenone
  • Lamotrigine R
  • Levetiracetam R
  • Levodopa (L-Dopa) R
  • MDMA (acute improves, but chronic intake makes verbal fluency worse) R R R R
  • Memantine R
  • Methylphenidate
  • Modafinil R
  • Naloxone R
  • Nicotine (Gum) R
  • Noopept R
  • NSI-189
  • Olanzapine R
  • Oxiracetam
  • PBT-2 R
  • Piracetam R
  • Piribedil (minimal) R
  • Peptide 6
  • Peptide 21
  • Phenibut
  • Phenylpiracetam
  • Physostigmine R
  • PRL 8-53
  • Propranolol R
  • Risperidone R
  • Scopolamine R
  • Semax
  • Selank
  • Selegiline R
  • SRIs and SSRIs R R
  • Sunifiram
  • Tiagabine R
  • Tianeptine
  • Unifiram
  • Zoloft (Sertraline)

Devices

Other

  • Inhibiting HSD1 R
  • Oxygenation R
  • Subtemporal amygdalohippocampectomy R
  • Withdrawal of carbamazepine and valproate R

What Decreases Verbal Fluency

Lifestyle And Diseases

  • ADHD R
  • Alcohol abuse (long term) R R
  • Alzheimer's Disease R
  • Amnesia R
  • Bad Sleep (sleepwalking/sleep terrors) R R
  • Being Underweight or Overweight R R
  • Bipolar Disorder R
  • Birth Control (changes during cycle) R
  • Chronic Pain R
  • Cirrhosis R
  • Cochlear implants R
  • Concussions (and head injuries) R
  • Depression R
  • Down Syndrome R
  • Epilepsy R
  • HIV R
  • Hypogonadism R
  • Hypothyroidism R
  • Inflammation R R
  • Insulin Resistance R
  • Internet Addiction R
  • Low Bone Mineral Density R
  • Low DHEA R
  • Menopause R
  • Multiple Sclerosis R
  • NAFLD R
  • Parkinson's Disease R
  • PTSD R
  • Schizophrenia R
  • Sleep Apnea R
  • Social Anxiety
  • Stress R
  • Stroke R
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries R

Drugs And Chemicals

Other

  • Deep Brain Stimulation (works better if repetitive) R R

My Favorite Stack For Verbal Fluency

I don't need to take everything together to get verbal fluency.

The lifestyle choices I do are:

Obviously talking more in public and changing your mindset really helps me. It is really about building my confidence so I don't have to rely on my reward system (dopamine receptors) and fear (increasing GABA and reducing amygdala activation).

I've also found that inhibiting histone deacetylation really helps social anxiety. Read more about this in my article on fear extinction

More Research

  • People, clothing, music, and arousal as contextual retrieval cues in verbal memory. R
  • Verbal fluency scores can predict mild cognitive impairment. R
  • Vitamin D is independent of verbal fluency. R