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. What is the purpose of the shoulder, arm and hand in being fully integrated?

2. Who is David who is mentioned in this chapter?

3. Up until a certain point, what separated the human hand from that of the ape's hand?

4. What does Frederick Wood Jones note about the hand?

5. From where does Sherrington discover signals originate to cause movement?

Short Essay Questions

1. What puzzles Frank Wilson about rock climbing and piano playing? Why?

2. According to Wilson, what are the two problem-solving strategies that stand out?

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

4. What does eating at LuLu teach Wilson?

5. What does practice after learning do?

6. Who is George, and what does Wilson say about him?

7. What does Wilson conclude in the Epilogue?

8. What is one thing that influences which hand is dominant and what are a couple other characteristics that are often associated with one dominant hand or the other?

9. What type of therapy is used in many cultures and to what does it go back?

10. Who is Robin Dunbar and what does he propose?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Wilson claims the brain and musculoskeletal systems evolve by changing structure and function over time, the bipedal gait and upper limb changes are characteristic of the hominid line distinct from primates, and the driving force of hominid brain evolution is the brain and society as hominids expand their range beyond the jungle into other habitats.

1. Explain what Wilson means by the brain and musculoskeletal systems changing structure and function. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Discuss, in depth, how the bipedal gait and upper limbs differ between hominids and apes. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss reasons you think expanding the range of habitats made the hominid more intelligent. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Greenfield proposes a hierarchical rule generator in the human brain that overcomes naive childhood impulses. She claims to know how a child will solve her stick puzzle simply by knowing the child's age. The MIT Professor Jeanne Bamberger corroborates Greenfield's opinion referring to a "felt path" that she describes as "exactly how chimps would do it." Older children pass the "chimp stage" so that by eleven they are not orderly solvers but improvisers who behave with intelligence.

1. Do you think human children are as predictable as Greenfield asserts? Why or why not? Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. The MIT Professor Jeanne Bamberger corroborates Greenfield's opinion referring to a "felt path" that she describes as "exactly how chimps would do it." What do you think is meant by this statement. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Explain why improvising in solving problems is a higher form of intelligence than being orderly in solving a problem. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by The Hand. Questions that Wilson most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Wilson's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Wilson's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Wilson and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

(see the answer keys)

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