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GRE真题精选讲解

GRE真题精选讲解

下面,选取一些2014年-2015年上半年真题中比较经典的GRE文章和习题来进行分析。

 

先来看一下文章:

By 1950, the results of attempts to relate brainprocesses 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 ofnervous energy. However,subsequently developed methods of recording and analyzing nervepotentials failed to reveal any such qualitative diversity. Althoughqualitative variance among nerve energies was never rigidly disproved, thedoctrine was generally abandoned in favor of the opposing view, namely, thatnerve impulses are essentially homogeneous in quality and are transmitted as “common currency”throughout the nervous system. According to this theory, it is not the qualityof the sensory nerve impulses that determines the diverse conscious sensationsthey produce, but rather the different areas of the brain into which theydischarge, and there is some evidence for this view. In one experiment, when anelectric stimulus was applied to a given sensory field of the cerebral cortexof a conscious human subject, it produced a sensation of the appropriatemodality for that particular locus, that is, a visual sensation from the visualcortex, an auditory sensation from the auditory cortex, and so on. However,cortical locus, in itself, turned out to have little explanatory value.

 

文章中文翻译如下:

“直到1950年,科学家试图在大脑过程和心理体验建立联系的努力仍不尽如人意。Herring认为,不同形式的感觉,如痛觉、味觉以及对颜色的认知可能和释放的特定的神经能量有关。然而,接下来对神经能量的研究并未对这种特定多样理论提供量化的论据。虽然神经能量存在本质的差异理论从来没有被严格否定,但是却基本已经不被采纳,科学家转而支持与此相反的理论,即神经冲动从根本上来说在本质上是同源的,并像“通用货币”(common currency)可以在整个神经系统传递。根据这一理论,决定不同感觉的是大脑的不同区域,而非感觉神经冲动的不同性质,对于这一观点,不乏某些证据。比如实验中,使电流通过测试者的大脑皮层特定感觉的区域,能产生了相应的感觉,即视觉来源于视觉大脑皮层、听觉来源于听觉大脑皮层,以此类推。然则,大脑区位理论就其本身而言也终证明几乎不具有任何解释价值。”

 

在使用结构化阅读法来理解文章的时候,很多学生一开始倾向于将本文判断为新老观点对比型文章,因为在文章的第三句中看到了However的字样。但是这一判断很明显是由于忽略了文章首句的信息。如果我们注意到文章首句就不难发现,“By 1950,the results of attempts to relate brain processes to mental experience appearedrather discouraging”这句话是表达了作者的主观判断的一个论点。而第三句中的However所转折的对象,并非是针对首句的观点,而是针对第二句中所提到的Herring这个人的suggestion。作者为何在第二句中提到Herring?很明显是为了他在**句中给出的观点来举例论证。However后文提到的其实是对第二句话中Herring的观点进行的转折,也就是为了印证首句中“discouraging”这一判断。而在接下来提到的科学家们倾向于认为的另一个理论“According to this theory, it is not the quality of the sensory nerveimpulses that determines the diverse conscious sensations they produce, butrather the different areas of the brain into which they discharge, and there issome evidence for this view”,作者虽然给出了一个实验证据,但是在文章的最后一句话中出现的However,同样说明第二个理论也不是完美的,同样印证了首句中的“discouraging”。所以我们会发现这篇文章实际上是一个总分结构,也就是首句提出作者本人的观点,后文用了两个例子,都是为了支持作者本人的观点。因此我们可以说这篇文章是一篇结论解释型文章。

 

对文章了解到这个程度之后我们就可以开始做题了。

 

The authormentions “common currency” primarily in order to emphasize the

(A) lack ofdifferentiation among nerve impulses inhuman beings

(B) similarityof the sensations that all humanbeings experience

(C) similaritiesin the views of scientists who havestudied the human nervous system

(D) continuouspassage of nerve impulses throughthe nervous system

(E) recurrent questioning by scientists of anaccepted explanationabout the nervoussystem

 

本题是一道修辞目的题,在托福考试中也十分常见。这种题型的解题思路通常是需要考生找到题目中所问的信息在文章中所起的作用或与上下文之间的关系(通常是与前文之间的关系),通过简单的逻辑推理很容易找到答案的出处。本题的好处在于题干中已经将其作用告诉我们了,即“emphasize”(强调)。通常问到某个信息所强调的对象,应该从该信息的前文中来寻找。原文中出现common currency的位置是这样一句话:“that nerve impulses are essentially homogeneous in quality and aretransmitted as “commoncurrency” throughout the nervous system”。于是我们看到了commoncurrency前面出现了一个并列连接词“and”。作为并列连接词,and所连接的对象通常是等价的或是意思相近的信息。为什么意思相近的信息要出现两次呢?后面出现的那一次就很有可能是为了强调前面出现过的内容。所以,common currency所要强调的对象,我们从and的前文中就很容易找到,是“nerve impulses are essentially homogeneous in quality”(神经冲动从根本上来说在本质上是同源的),从选项中,我们就很容易选出A选项了:“lack ofdifferentiation among nerve impulses inhuman beings”(在人类神经冲动之间差异的缺乏)。这道题的迷惑选项为B和C,因为考生理解到了homogeneous in quality之后很容易会被选项开头的similarity的字样所吸引。如果粗心没有仔细分辨后续信息,就很容易出错。

 

我们再来看一题:

Which of the following best summarizes the author‘s opinion of thesuggestion that different areas of the brain determine perceptions produced bysensory nerve impulses?

(A) It is a plausible explanation, but it has not been completelyproved.

(B) It is the best explanation of brain processes currentlyavailable.

(C) It is disproved by the fact that the various areas of the brainare physiologically very similar.

(D) There is some evidence to support it, but it fails to explainthe diversity of mental experience.

(E) There is experimental evidence that confirms its correctness.

 

本题可以说是一道态度题,题目中所问的是作者对于某一个理论持有何种看法。本题的解决需要依赖于之前对于文章结构的正确判断。通过理解题干我们会发现题目中所问的理论就是文章中后半段提到的理论“…it is not the quality of the sensory nerve impulses that determinesthe diverse conscious sensations they produce, but rather the different areasof the brain into which they discharge…”(决定不同感觉的是大脑的不同区域,而非感觉神经冲动的不同性质),在这句话的后面紧跟着“and there is some evidence for this view”(对于这一观点,不乏某些证据)。之前提到会有学生将文章的结构错判成新老观点对比型的文章,由于新老对比套路的文章对于新观点总是持有支持的态度的,再加上看到这里的正面评价,很多人会认为作者对于题目所问的理论是持有正面态度的,因此会错误的选择E选项。然而这样的判断是因为对文章结构理解的错误以及对最后一句话中转折信息的忽略导致的。所以综合理解文章的结论解释型的结构之后,我们会发现,作者对题目中所问的理论并非完全支持,而是提到虽然有实验证据支持,但是“in itself, turned out to have little explanatory value”(理论本身不具有任何解释的价值),因此正确答案为D选项。

 

通过上面的分析,我们可以准确的理解这篇文章的结构特征和出题要点,以及掌握修辞目的题和态度题的解题思路。


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