The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Frank R. Wilson
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is now known to be important that originally was not thought to be so during early studies?

2. How does John Napier identify the terms "power grip" and "precision grip"?

3. What does the author say comes to life even before you rise out of bed in the morning?

4. Where does the hand's optimal strength lie when rock climbing?

5. According to Wilson, what did the expansion of territory by hominids require?

Short Essay Questions

1. How were the ape and human hands compared anatomically until recently?

2. What do humans need to move out of the jungle?

3. How is the arm different from the leg in how it is attached to the body, and which parts of the upper body corresponds to the "folding crane"?

4. What is Wilson's "mission" with this book?

5. What does Mary Marzke classify and how does she do so?

6. Who is Merlin Donald and what does he propose?

7. What two terms does Duchenne propose for the scale of movement required by two hands acting in partnership?

8. What is the connection between marionettes and the human muscle and tendon configuration in the arms and legs?

9. What are the eight features of the human hand according to Mary Marzke?

10. Who is David and how is he able to succeed at wrestling despite not being very strong?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Frank R. Wilson.

2. What in Wilson's background may have helped him in writing The Hand? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her books? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Donald assumes speech is a primary enabler and the outcome of evolution in 1) cognitive capacity as representational or mimetic, 2) articulating speech, and 3) neural structure. Donald summarizes his ideas with the claim that humans did not simply grow larger brains, memories and speaking equipment but rather incorporated new ways to represent reality in their bigger brains.

1. Why would Donald call speech a primary enabler of evolution? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. What do you think Donald means by cognitive capacity as representational or mimetic? cognitive capacity as representational or mimetic

3. Why would the ability to remember the past be important to hominids' survival?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. Charles Bell asserts that practice enables the hand and eye to develop as sense organs so the brain teaches itself by making the hand and eye work together. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Charles Sherrington claims the tip of the thumb and index finger are treated by the brain like the sensitive part of the retina. He claims the eye is drawn to the object automatically and the hand with its sensitive fingers grasps it. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. A biologic clock develops to set an internal time reference relative to the time used in a sequence of motion--for example, the time it takes for a ball to fall. Practice improves the sense of timing but a teacher or coach can help to sequence the process and eliminate making the same mistakes. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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