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 was Serge Percelly told he had the eye for tennis?

2. How many fingers does George saw off his right hand by accident?

3. For what does the thumb have to be long enough?

4. What is the other main reason the author writes this book on the hand?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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"?

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

4. How did Duchenne demonstrate the physiology of movement?

5. What did Herophilus and Galen discover?

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

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

8. What aspects of the human capacity for passionate, creative work does Wilson illustrate?

9. What has to happen in order for the thumb to be useful?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Hand belongs to the non-fiction genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the non-fiction genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a non-fiction and a novel?

Essay Topic 2

In order for hominids to expand their range into habitats beyond the jungle, they required continuing brain evolution. The expansion of territory by hominids took group cooperation for survival. A professor of biology from the University of Liverpool named Robin Dunbar proposes a theory of brain growth, language and intelligence to correlate neocortex, brain size, with a stable group or tribe.

1. Explain how greater intelligence enabled hominids to leave the jungle. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Explain, in depth, why cooperation among hominids would be an important aspect of survival. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss ways in which cooperation and social living might increase the brain size or intelligence of hominids. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

1. What do you think are the characteristics of a successful work of non-fiction?

2. Analyze and discuss The Hand based upon the criteria you decide upon in #1 and judge if The Hand is a successful work of non-fiction/memoir.

3. Is The Hand a book you would recommend to a friend? Why or why not? Explain.

4. Can a non-fictional book be successful and yet many readers not enjoy it? Explain your response.

(see the answer keys)

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