OG Test 2 - Reading 3

Questions 22-32 are based on the following passage.

Passage 1 is adapted from Nichol as Carr,“Author Nichol as Carr:The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains.”©2010 by Condé Nast. Passage 2 is from Steven Pinker,“Mind over Mass Media.”©2010 by The New York Times Company.

Passage 1

The mental consequences of our online
info-crunching are not universally bad.
Certain cognitive skills are strengthened by our use
Lineof computers and the Net. These tend to involve
5more primitive mental functions, such as hand-eye
coordination, reflex response ,and the processing of
visual cues. One much-cited study of video gaming
revealed that after just 10 days of playing action
games on computers, a group of young people had
10significantly boosted the speed with which they could
shift their visual focus between various images and
It`s likely that Web browsing also strengthens
brain functions related to fast-paced problem
15solving, particularly when it requires spotting
patterns in a welter of data. A British study of the
way women search for medical information online
indicated that an experienced Internet user can, at
least in some cases, assess the trustworthiness and
20probable value of a Web page in a matter of seconds.
The more we practice surfing and scanning, the more
adept our brain becomes at those tasks.
But it would be a serious mistake to look narrowly
at such benefits and conclude that the Web is making
25us smarter. In a Science article published in early
2009, prominent developmental psychologist Patricia
Greenfield reviewed more than 40 studies of the
effects of various types of media on intelligence and
learning ability. She concluded that" every medium
30develops some cognitive skills at the expense of
others. "Our growing use of the Net and other
screen-based technologies, she wrote, has led to the
" widespread and sophisticated development of
visual-spatial skills . "But those gains go hand in hand
35with a weakening of our capacity for the kind of
" deep processing "that underpins" mindful
knowledge acquisition, inductive analysis, critical
thinking, imagination, and reflection."
We know that the human brain is highly
40plastic; neurons and synapses change as
circumstances change. When we adapt to a new
cultural phenomenon, including the use of a new
medium, we end up with a different brain, says
Michael Merzenich, a pioneer of the field of
45neuro plasticity. That means our online habits
continue to reverberate in the workings of our brain
25 cells even when we`re not at a computer. We`re
exercising the neural circuits devoted to skimming
and multitasking while ignoring those used for
50reading and thinking deeply.

Passage 2

Critics of new media sometimes use science itself
to press their case, citing research that shows how
" experience can change the brain ."But cognitive
neuroscientists roll their eyes at such talk. Yes, every
55time we learn a fact or skill the wiring of the brain
changes ; it`s not as if the information is stored in the
pancreas. But the existence of neural plasticity does
not mean the brain is a blob of clay pounded into
shape by experience.
60Experience does not revamp the basic
information-processing capacities of the brain.
Speed-reading programs have long claimed to do just
that, but the verdict was rendered by Woody Allen
after he read Leo Tolstoy`s famously long novel
65War and Peace in one sitting :"It was about Russia. "
Genuine multitasking, too, has been exposed as a
myth, not just by laboratory studies but by the
familiar sight of an SUV undulating between lanes as
the driver cuts deal son his cell phone.
70Moreover, the effects of experience are highly
specific to the experiences themselves. If you train
people to do one thing (recognize shapes, solve math
puzzles , find hidden words),they get better at doing
that thing, but almost nothing else. Music doesn`t
75make you better at math, conjugating Latin doesn`t
make you more logical, brain-training games don`t
make you smarter. Accomplished people don`t bulk
up their brains with intellectual calisthenics; they
immerse themselves in their fields. Novelists read
80lots of novels, scientists read lots of science.
The effects of consuming electronic media are
likely to be far more limited than the panic implies.
Media critics write as if the brain takes on the
qualities of whatever it consumes, the informational
85equivalent of" you are what you eat ."As with ancient
peoples who believed that eating fierce animals made
them fierce, they assume that watching quick cuts in
rock videos turns your mental life into quick cuts or
that reading bullet points and online postings turns
90your thoughts into bullet point sand on line postings.

Question 22

The author of Passage 1 indicates which of the following about the use of screen-based technologies?

  • A It should be thoroughly studied.

  • B It makes the brain increasingly rigid.

  • C It has some positive effects.

  • D It should be widely encouraged.

Question 23

Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A Lines 3-4("Certain...Net")

  • B Lines 23-25("But...smarter")

  • C Lines 25-29("Ina...ability")

  • D Lines 29-31("She...others")

Question 24

The author of Passage1 indicates that becoming adept at using the Internet can

  • A make people complacent about their health.

  • B undermine the ability to think deeply.

  • C increase people`s social contacts.

  • D improve people`s self-confidence

Question 25

As used in line 40,"plastic" most nearly means

  • A creative.

  • B artificial.

  • C malleable.

  • D sculptural.

Question 26

The author of Passage 2 refers to the novel War and Peace primarily to suggest that Woody Allen

  • A did not like Tolstoy`s writing style.

  • B could not comprehend the novel by speed-reading it.

  • C had become quite skilled at multitasking.

  • D regretted having read such along novel.

Question 27

According to the author of Passage 2, what do novelists and scientists have in common?

  • A They take risks when they pursue knowledge.

  • B They are eager to improve their minds.

  • C They are curious about other subjects.

  • D They become absorbed in their own fields.

Question 28

The analogy in the final sentence of Passage 2 has primarily which effect?

  • A It uses ornate language to illustrate a difficult concept.

  • B It employs humor to soften a severe opinion of human behavior.

  • C It alludes to the past to evoke a nostalgic response.

  • D It criticizes the view of a particular group.

Question 29

The main purpose of each passage is to

  • A compare brain function in those who play games on the Internet and those who browse on it.

  • B report on the problem-solving skills of individuals with varying levels of Internet experience.

  • C take a position on increasing financial support for studies related to technology and intelligence.

  • D make an argument about the effects of electronic media use on the brain.

Question 30

Which choice best describes the relationship between the two passages?

  • A Passage 2 relates first-hand experiences that contrast with the clinical approach in Passage 1.

  • B Passage2 critiques the conclusions drawn from the research discussed in Passage1.

  • C Passage2 takes a high-level view of a result that Passage1 examines in depth.

  • D Passage2 predicts the negative reactions that the findings discussed in Passage1 might produce.

Question 31

On which of the following points would the authors of both passage most likely agree?

  • A Computer-savvy children tend to demonstrate better hand-eye coordination than do their parents.

  • B Those who criticize consumers of electronic media tend to overreact in their criticism.

  • C Improved visual-spatial skills do not generalize to improved skills in other areas.

  • D Internet users are unlikely to prefer reading onscreen text to reading actual books.

Question 32

Which choice provides the best evidence that the author of Passage 2 would agree to some extent with the claim attributed to Michael Merzenich in lines 41-43, Passage 1?

  • A Lines 51-53("Critics...brain")

  • B Line 54-56("Yes...changes")

  • C Lines 57-59("But...experience")

  • D Lines 83-84("Media...consumes")


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