Extraordinary creative activity has been characterized as revolutionary, flying in the face of what is established and producing not what is acceptable but what will become accepted. According to this formulation, highly creative activity transcends the limits of an existing form and establishes a new principle of organization. However, the idea that extraordinary creativity transcends established limits in misleading when it is applied to the arts, even though it may be valid for the sciences. Difference between highly creative art and highly creative science arise in part from a difference in their goals. For the sciences, a new theory is the goal and end result of the creative act. Innovative science produces new propositions in terms of which diverse phenomena can be related to one another in more coherent ways. Such phenomena as a brilliant diamond or a nesting bird are relegated to the role of data, serving as the means for formulating or testing a new theory. The goal of highly creative art is very different: the phenomenon itself becomes the direct product of the creative act. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not a tract about the behavior of indecisive princes or the uses of political power; nor is Picasso’s painting Guernica primarily a propositional statement about the Spanish Civil War or the evils of fascism. What highly creative artistic activity produces is not a new generalization that transcends established limits, but rather an aesthetic particular. Aesthetic particulars produced by the highly creative artist extend or exploit, in an innovative way, the limits of an existing form, rather than transcend that form.
This is not to deny that a highly creative artist sometimes establishes a new principle of organization in the history of an artistic field; the composer Monteverdi, who created music of the highest aesthetic value, comes to mind. More generally, however, whether or not a composition establishes a new principle in the history of music has little bearing on its aesthetic worth. Because they embody a new principle of organization, some musical works, such as the operas of the Florentine Camerata, are of signal historical importance, but few listeners or musicologists would include these among the great works of music. On the other hand, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is surely among the masterpieces of music even though its modest innovations are confined to extending existing means. It has been said of Beethoven that he toppled the rules and freed music from the stifling confines of convention. But a close study of his compositions reveals that Beethoven overturned no fundamental rules. Rather, he was an incomparable strategist who exploited limits一the rules, forms, and conventions that he inherited from predecessors such as Haydn and Mozart, Handel and Bach—in strikingly original ways.
|The passage supplies information for answering which of the following questions?|
|Great comic art is never otherwordly, it does not seek to mystify us, and it does not deny ambiguity b y branding as evil whatever differs from good. Great comic artists assume that truth may bear all lights, and thus they seek to accentuate contradictions in social action, not gloss over or transcend them by appeals to extrasocial symbols of divine ends, cosmic purpose, or laws of nature. The moment of transcendence in great comic art is a social moment, born out of the conviction that we are human, even though we try to be gods. The comic community to which artists address themselves is a community of reasoning, loving, joyful, compassionate beings, who are willing to assume the human risks of acting rationally. Without invoking gods or demons, great comic art arouses courage in reason, courage which grows out of trust in what human beings can do as humans.|
|It can be inferred from the passage that the author admires great comic artists primarily for their|
|By 1950, the results of attempts to relate brain processes to mental experience appeared rather discouraging. Herring suggested that different modes of sensation, such as pain, taste, and color, might be correlated with the discharge of specific kinds of nervous energy. However, subsequently developed methods of recording and analyzing nerve potentials failed to reveal any such qualitative diversity. Although qualitative variance among nerve energies was never rigidly disproved, the doctrine was generally abandoned in favor of the opposing view, namely, that nerve impulses are essentially homogeneous in quality and are transmitted as “common currency” throughout the nervous system. According to this theory, it is not the quality of the sensory nerve impulses that determines the diverse conscious sensations they produce, but rather the different areas of the brain into which they discharge, and there is some evidence for this view. In one experiment, when an electric stimulus was applied to a given sensory field of the cerebral cortex of a conscious human subject, it produced a sensation of the appropriate modality for that particular locus, that is, a visual sensation from the visual cortex, an auditory sensation from the auditory cortex, and so on. However, cortical locus, in itself, turned out to have little explanatory value.|
|The author mentions “common currency” in line 13 primarily in order to emphasize the|
The evolution of intelligence among early large mammals of the grasslands was due in great measure to the interaction between two ecologically synchronized groups of these animals, the hunting carnivores and the herbivores that they hunted. The interaction resulting from the differences between predator and prey led to a general improvement in brain functions; however, certain components of intelligence were improved far more than others.
The kind of intelligence favored by the interplay of increasingly smarter catchers and increasingly keener escapers is defined by attention—that aspect of mind carrying consciousness forward from one moment to the next. It ranges from a passive, free-floating awareness to a highly focused, active fixation. The range through these states is mediated by the arousal system, a network of tracts converging from sensory systems to integrating centers in the brain stem. From the more relaxed to the more vigorous levels, sensitivity to novelty is increased. The organism is more awake, more vigilant; this increased vigilance results in the apprehension of ever more subtle signals as the organism becomes more sensitive to its surroundings. The processes of arousal and concentration give attention its direction. Arousal is at irst general, with a flooding of impulses in the brain stem; then gradually the activation is channeled. Thus begins concentration, the holding of consistent images. One meaning of intelligence is the way in which these images and other alertly searched information are used in the context of previous experience. Consciousness links past attention to the present and permits the integration of details with perceived ends and purposes.
The elements of intelligence and consciousness come together marvelously to produce different styles in predator and prey. Herbivores and carnivores develop different kinds of attention related to escaping or chasing. Although in both kinds of animal, arousal stimulates the production of adrenaline and norepinephrine by the adrenal glands, the effect in herbivores is primarily fear, whereas in carnivores the effect is primarily aggression. For both, arousal attunes the animal to what is ahead. Perhaps it does not experience forethought as we know it, but the animal does experience something like it. The predator is searchingly aggressive, inner-directed, tuned by the nervous system and the adrenal hormones, but aware in a sense closer to human consciousness than, say, a hungry lizard’s instinctive snap at a passing beetle. Using past events as a framework, the large mammal predator is working out a relationship between movement and food, sensitive to possibilities in cold trails and distant sounds—and yesterday’s unforgotten lessons. The herbivore prey is of a different mind. Its mood of wariness rather than searching and its attitude of general expectancy instead of anticipating are silk-thin veils of tranquility over an explosive endocrine system.
|The author refers to a hungry lizard (line 47) primarily in order to|
|Visual recognition involves storing and retrieving memories. Neural activity, triggered by the eye, forms an image in the brain’s memory system that constitutes an internal representation of the viewed object. When an object is encountered again, it is matched with its internal representation and thereby recognized. Controversy surrounds the question of whether recognition is a parallel, one-step process or a serial, step-by-step one. Psychologists of the Gestalt school maintain that objects are recognized as wholes in a parallel procedure: the internal representation is matched with the retinal image in a single operation. Other psychologists have proposed that internal representation features are matched serially with an object’s features. Although some experiments show that, as an object becomes familiar, its internal representation becomes more holistic and the recognition process correspondingly more parallel, the weight of evidence seems to support the serial hypothesis, at least for objects that are not notably simple and familiar.|
|The author is primarily concerned with|
|It is a popular misconception that nuclear fusion power is free of radioactivity; in fact, the deuterium-tritium reaction that nuclear scientists are currently exploring with such zeal produces both alpha particles and neutrons. (The neutrons are used to produce tritium from a lithium blanket surrounding the reactor.) Another common misconception is that nuclear fusion power is a virtually unlimited source of energy because of the enormous quantity of deuterium in the sea. Actually, its limits are set by the amount of available lithium, which is about as plentiful as uranium in the Earth’s crust. Research should certainly continue on controlled nuclear fusion, but no energy program should be premised on its existence until it has proven practical.|
|It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following about the current state of public awareness concerning nuclear fusion power?|
Roger Rosenblatt’s book Black Fiction, in attempting to apply literary rather than sociopolitical criteria to its subject, successfully alters the approach taken by most previous studies. As Rosenblatt notes, criticism of Black writing has often served as a pretext for expounding on Black history. Addison Gayle’s recent work, for example, judges the value of Black fiction by overtly political standards, rating each work according to the notions of Black identity which it propounds.
Although fiction assuredly springs from political circumstances, its authors react to those circumstances in ways other than ideological, and talking about novels and stories primarily as instruments of ideology circumvents much of the fictional enterprise. Rosenblatt’s literary analysis discloses affinities and connections among works of Black fiction which solely political studies have overlooked or ignored.
Writing acceptable criticism of Black fiction, however, presupposes giving satisfactory answers to a number of questions. First of all, is there a sufficient reason, other than the racial identity of the authors, to group together works by Black authors? Second, how does Black fiction make itself distinct from other modern fiction with which it is largely contemporaneous? Rosenblatt shows that Black fiction constitutes a distinct body of writing that has an identifiable, coherent literary tradition. Looking at novels written by Blacks over the last eighty years, he discovers recurring concerns and designs independent of chronology. These structures are thematic, and they spring, not surprisingly, from the central fact that the Black characters in these novels exist in a predominantly White culture, whether they try to conform to that culture or rebel against it.
Black Fiction does leave some aesthetic questions open. Rosenblatt’s thematic analysis permits considerable objectivity; he even explicitly states that it is not his intention to judge the merit of the various works一yet his reluctance seems misplaced, especially since an attempt to appraise might have led to interesting results. For instance, some of the novels appear to be structurally diffuse. Is this a defect, or are the authors working out of, or trying to forge, a different kind of aesthetic? In addition, the style of some Black novels, like Jean Toomer’s Cane, verges on expressionism or surrealism; does this technique provide a counterpoint to the prevalent theme that portrays the fate against which Black heroes are pitted, a theme usually conveyed by more naturalistic modes of expression?
In spite of such omissions, what Rosenblatt does include in his discussion makes for an astute and worthwhile study. Black Fiction surveys a wide variety of novels, bringing to our attention in the process some fascinating and little-known works like James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Its argument is tightly constructed, and its forthright, lucid style exemplifies levelheaded and penetrating criticism.
|The author of the passage objects to criticism of Black fiction like that by Addison Gayle because it|
|The transfer of heat and water vapor from the ocean to the air above it depends on a disequilibrium at the interface of the water and the air. Within about a millimeter of the water, air temperature is close to that of the surface water, and the air is nearly saturated with water vapor. But the differences, however small, are crucial, and the disequilibrium is maintained by air near the surface mixing with air higher up, which is typically appreciably cooler and lower in water-vapor content. The air is mixed by means of turbulence that depends on the wind for its energy. As wind speed increases, so does turbulence, and thus the rate of heat and moisture transfer. Detailed understanding of this phenomenon awaits further study.|
|According to the passage, wind over the ocean generally does which of the following?|
Many theories have been formulated to explain the role of grazers such as zooplankton in controlling the amount of planktonic algae (phytoplankton) in lakes. The first theories of such grazer control were merely based on observations of negative correlations between algal and zooplankton numbers. A low number of algal cells in the presence of a high number of grazers suggested, but did not prove, that the grazers had removed most of the algae. The converse observation, of the absence of grazers in areas of high phytoplankton concentration, led Hardy to propose his principle of animal exclusion, which hypothesized that phytoplankton produced a repellent that excluded grazers from regions of high phytoplankton concentration. This was the first suggestion of algal defenses against grazing.
Perhaps the fact that many of these first studies considered only algae of a size that could be collected in a net (net phytoplankton), a practice that overlooked the smaller phytoplankton (nannoplankton) that we now know grazers are most likely to feed on, led to a de-emphasis of the role of grazers in subsequent research. Increasingly, as in the individual studies of Lund, Round, and Reynolds, researchers began to stress the importance of environmental factors such as temperature, light, and water movements in controlling algal numbers. These environmental factors were amenable to field monitoring and to simulation in the laboratory. Grazing was believed to have some effect on algal numbers, especially after phytoplankton growth rates declined at the end of bloom periods, but grazing was considered a minor component of models that predicted algal population dynamics.
The potential magnitude of grazing pressure on freshwater phytoplankton has only recently been determined empirically. Studies by Hargrave and Geen estimated natural community grazing rates by measuring feeding rates of individual zooplankton species in the laboratory and then computing community grazing rates for field conditions using the known population density of grazers. The high estimates of grazing pressure postulated by these researchers were not fully accepted, however, until the grazing rates of zooplankton were determined directly in the field, by means of new experimental techniques. Using a specially prepared feeding chamber, Haney was able to record zooplankton grazing rates in natural field conditions. In the periods of peak zooplankton abundance, that is, in the late spring and in the summer, Haney recorded maximum daily community grazing rates, for nutrient-poor lakes and bog lakes, respectively, of 6.6 percent and 114 percent of daily phytoplankton production. Cladocerans had higher grazing rates than copepods, usually accounting for 80 percent of the community grazing rate. These rates varied seasonally, reaching the lowest point in the winter and early spring. Haney’s thorough research provides convincing field evidence that grazers can exert significant pressure on phytoplankton population.
|It can be inferred from the passage that the “first theories” of grazer control mentioned in the first paragraph would have been more convincing if researchers had been able to|
|The belief that art originates in intuitive rather than rational faculties was worked out historically and philosophically in the somewhat wearisome volumes of Benedetto Croce, who is usually considered the originator of a new aesthetic. Croce was, in fact, expressing a very old idea. Long before the Romantics stressed intuition and self-expression, the frenzy of inspiration was regarded as fundamental to art, but philosophers had always assumed it must be controlled by law and by the intellectual power of putting things into harmonious order. This general philosophic concept of art was supported by technical necessities. It was necessary to master certain laws and to use intellect in order to build Gothic cathedrals, or set up the stained glass windows of Chartres. When this bracing element of craftsmanship ceased to dominate artists’ outlook, new technical elements had to be adopted to maintain the intellectual element in art. Such were linear perspective and anatomy.|
|The passage suggests that which of the following would most likely have occurred if linear perspective and anatomy had not come to influence artistic endeavor?|