By 1950, the results of attempts to relate brain processes to mental experience appeared rather discouraging. Such variations in size, shape, chemistry, conduction speed, excitation threshold, and the like as had been demonstrated in nerve cells remained negligible in significance for any possible correlation with the manifold dimensions of mental experience.
Near the turn of the century, it had been suggested by Hering 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. It was possible to demonstrate by other methods refined structural differences among neuron types; however, proof was lacking that the quality of the impulse or its condition was influenced by these differences, which seemed instead to influence the developmental patterning of the neural circuits. 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. Other experiments revealed slight variations in the size, number, arrangement, and interconnection of the nerve cells, but as far as psychoneural correlations were concerned, the obvious similarities of these sensory fields to each other seemed much more remarkable than any of the minute differences.
However, cortical locus, in itself, turned out to have little explanatory value. Studies showed that sensations as diverse as those of red, black, green, and white, or touch, cold, warmth, movement, pain, posture, and pressure apparently may arise through activation of the same cortical areas. What seemed to remain was some kind of differential patterning effects in the brain excitation: it is the difference in the central distribution of impulses that counts. In short, brain theory suggested a correlation between mental experience and the activity of relatively homogen- eous nerve-cell units conducting essentially homogeneous impulses through homogeneous cerebral tissue. To match the multiple dimensions of mental experience psychologists could only point to a limitless variation in the spatiotemporal patterning of nerve impulses.
|The author suggests that, by 1950, attempts to correlate mental experience with brain processes would probably have been viewed with|
|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. An interacting—and complicating—phenomenon is wind-to-water transfer of momentum that occurs when waves are formed. When the wind makes waves, it transfers important amounts of energy—energy that is therefore not available to provide turbulence.|
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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 is misleading when it is applied to the arts, even though it may be valid for the sciences. Differences 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—the rules, forms, and conventions that he inherited from predecessors such as Haydn and Mozart, Handel and Bach—in strikingly original ways.
|The author considers a new theory that coherently relates diverse phenomena to one another to be the|
|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|
In large part as a consequence of the feminist movement, historians have focused a great deal of attention in recent years on determining more accurately the status of women in various periods. Although much has been accomplished for the modern period, premodern cultures have proved more difficult: sources are restricted in number, fragmentary, difficult to interpret, and often contradictory. Thus it is not particularly surprising that some earlier scholarship concerning such cultures has so far gone unchallenged. An example is Johann Bachofen's 1861treatise on Amazons, women-ruled societies of questionable existence contemporary with ancient Greece.
Starting from the premise that mythology and legend preserve at least a nucleus of historical fact, Bachofen argued that women were dominant in many ancient societies. His work was based on a comprehensive survey of references in the ancient sources to Amazonian and other societies with matrilineal customs—societies in which descent and property rights are traced through the female line. Some support for his theory can be found in evidence such as that drawn from Herofotus, the Greek "historian" of the fifth century B. C.,who speaks of an Amazonian society, the Sauromatae, where the women hunted and fought in wars. A woman in this society was not allowed to marry until she had killed a person in battle.
Nonetheless, this assumption that the first recorders of ancient myths have preserved facts is problematic. If one begins by examining why ancients refer to Amazons, it becomes clear that ancient Greek descriptions of such societies were meant not so much to represent observed historical fact—real Amazonian societies—but rather to offer "moral lessons" on the supposed outcome of women's rule in their own society. The Amazons were often characterized, for example, as the equivalents of giants and centaurs, enemies to be slain by Greek heroes. Their customs were presented not as those of a respectable society, but as the very antitheses of ordinary Greek practices.
Thus, I would argue, the purpose of accounts of the Amazons for their male Greek recorders was didactic, to teach both male and female Greeks that all-female groups, formed by withdrawal from traditional society, are destructive and dangerous. Myths about the Amazons were used as arguments for the male-dominated status quo, in which groups composed exclusively of either sex were not permitted to segregate themselves permanently from society. Bachofen was thus misled in his reliance on myths for information about the status of women. The sources that will probably tell contemporary historians most about women in the ancient world are such social documents as grave-stones, wills, and marriage contracts. Studies of such documents have already begun to show how mistaken we are when we try to derive our picture of the ancient world exclusively from literary sources, especially myths.
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|Initially the Vinaver theory that Malory's eight romances, once thought to be fundamentally unified, were in fact eight independent works produced both a sense of relief and an unpleasant shock. Vinaver's theory comfortably explained away the apparent contradictions of chronology and made each romance independently satisfying. It was, however, disagreeable to find that what had been thought of as one book was now eight books. Part of this response was the natural reaction to the disturbance of set ideas. Nevertheless, even now, after lengthy consideration of the theory's refined but legitimate observations, one cannot avoid the conclusion that the eight romances are only one work. It is not quite a matter of disagreeing with the theory of independence, but of rejecting its implications: that the romances may be taken in any or no particular order, that they have no cumulative effect, and that they are as separate as the works of a modern novelist.|
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|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?|
(The passage below is drawn from an article published in 1962.)
Computer programmers often remark that computing machines, with a perfect lack of discrimination, will do any foolish thing they are told to do. The reason for this lies, of course, in the narrow fixation of the computing machine's "intelligence" on the details of its own perceptions—its inability to be guided by any large context. In a psychological description of the computer intelligence, three related adjectives come to mind: single-minded, literal-minded, and simpleminded. Recognizing this, we should at the same time recognize that this single-mindedness, literal-mindedness, and simplemindedness also characterizes theoretical mathematics, though to a lesser extent.
Since science tries to deal with reality, even the most precise sciences normally work with more or less imperfectly understood approximations toward which scientists must maintain an appropriate skepticism. Thus, for instance, it may come as a shock to mathematicians to learn that the Schrodinger equation for the hydrogen atom is not a literally correct description of this atom, but only an approximation to a somewhat more correct equation taking account of spin, magnetic dipole, and relativistic effects; and that this corrected equation is itself only an imperfect approximation to an infinite set of quantum field-theoretical equations. Physicists, looking at the original Schrodinger equation, learn to sense in it the presence of many invisible terms in addition to the differential terms visible, and this sense inspires an entirely appropriate disregard for the purely technical features of the equation. This very healthy skepticism is foreign to the mathematical approach.
Mathematics must deal with well-defined situations. Thus,mathematicians depend on an intellectual effort outside of mathematics for the crucial specification of the approximation that mathematics is to take literally. Give mathematicians a situation that is the least bit ill-defined, and they will make it well-defined, perhaps appropriately, but perhaps inappropriately. In some cases, the mathematicians' literal-mindedness may have unfortunate consequences. The mathematicians turn the scientists' theoretical assumptions, that is, their convenient points of analytical emphasis, into axioms, and then take these axioms literally. This brings the danger that they may also persuade the scientists to take these axioms literally. The question, central to the scientific investigation but intensely disturbing in the mathematical context—what happens if the axioms are relaxed?—is thereby ignored.
The physicist rightly dreads precise argument, since an argument that is convincing only if it is precise loses all its force if the assumptions on which it is based are slightly changed, whereas an argument that is convincing though imprecise may well be stable under small perturbations of its underlying assumptions.
|The author discusses computing machines in the first paragraph primarily in order to do which of the following?|
In eighteenth-century France and England, reformers rallied around egalitarian ideals, but few reformers advocated higher education for women. Although the public decried women's lack of education, it did not encourage learning for its own sake for women. In spite of the general prejudice against learned women, there was one place where women could exhibit their erudition: the literary salon. Many writers have defined the woman's role in the salon as that of an intelligent hostess, but the salon had more than a social function for women. It was an informal university, too, where women exchanged ideas with educated persons, read their own works and heard those of others, and received and gave criticism.
In the 1750's, when salons were firmly established in France, some English women, who called themselves "Blue- stocking," followed the example of the salonnieres (French salon hostesses) and formed their own salons. Most Bluestockings did not wish to mirror the salonnieres; they simply desired to adapt a proven formula to their own purpose—the elevation of women's status through moral and intellectual training.Differences in social orientation and background can account perhaps for differences in the nature of French and English salons. The French salon incorporated aristocratic attitudes that exalted courtly pleasure and emphasized artistic accomplishments. The English Bluestockings, originating from a more modest background,emphasized learning and work over pleasure. Accustomed to the regimented life of court circles, salonnieres tended toward formality in their salons. The English women, though somewhat puritanical, were more casual in their approach.
At first, the Bluestockings did imitate the saonnieres by including men in their circles. However, as they gained cohesion, the Bluestockings came to regard themselves as a women's group and to possess a sense of female solidarity lacking in the salonnieres, who remained isolated from one another by the primacy each held in her own salon. In an atmosphere of mutual support, the Bluestockings went beyond the salon experience. They traveled, studied, worked, wrote for publication, and by their activities challenged the stereotype of the passive woman. Although the salonnieres were aware of sexual inequality, the narrow boundaries of their world kept their intellectual pursuits within conventional limits. Many salonnieres, in fact, camouflaged their nontraditional activities behind the role of hostess and deferred to men in public.
Though the Bluestockings were trailblazers when compared with the salonnieres, they were not feminists. They were too traditional, too hemmed in by their generation to demand social and political rights. Nonetheless, in their desire for education, their willingness to go beyond the confines of the salon in pursuing their interests, and their championing of unity among women, the Bluestockings began the process of questioning women's role in society.
|Which of the following best states the central idea of the passage?|
|Feelings of hopelessness among medieval workers trapped in the poverty cycle gradually lessened as it became possible for women's labor to supplement a family's money income by more than pennies. By 1300, women spinners could be found working on their own for wealthy sponsors, even after the introduction in Italy and France of a prohibition against advancing money for supplies to women spinners. Historians have usually interpreted this prohibition simply as evidence of women's economic subjection, since it obliged them to turn to usurers; however, it was also almost certainly a response to a trend toward differential reward for women's higher skill. Yarn can be spun irregularly and lumpily, but perfectly smooth yarn is worth more. Working for merchant entrepreneurs on time rates.women had been paid hardly more than children; working as entrepreneurs themselves and producing good work by the piece, they could break into the rational system of differential rewards.|
|The primary purpose of the passage is to|