The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture Test | Final 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 does Peter Reynolds spend years doing in New Guinea?

2. What does Jack Schaefer do?

3. What is ChomTur?

4. How does Wilson learn that cooking is a specific skill using hands to produce an immediate sense of achievement?

5. What does Wilson wonder about his daughter?

Short Essay Questions

1. What two brain task does Noam Chomsky say are necessary for an individual to speak a language?

2. Explain the term "BackTur."

3. Describe Peter Reynolds work.

4. What is the title of Feldenkrais' book and what does the book claim?

5. Why can't ground mammals take advantage of this global change?

6. What area of the brain seems to be specialized for language and for how long has this are been adapted for language?

7. How has the hand been used throughout its long history?

8. Who is Patricia Greenfield and what does she theorize?

9. What are Wilson's conclusions about musical talent or heuristic?

10. What does Feldenkrais say about how parents can inhibit their child's abilities?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Anatomically, ape and human hands have been, until recently, considered functionally equivalent by anthropologists. The prehuman arm, however, was considered functionally and anatomically different metaphorically by analysis to a construction crane and its operator.

1. Explain the metaphor of the prehuman being related to a crane. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

2. Explain what part of the body is the crane operator in the above metaphor and how it relates to the use of the hand. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

3. Discuss the following statement in relation to modern human society. When the forelimbs were relieved of the duty to walk on and support body weight, the brain enabled them to become functional in many other areas and skills. Use examples from the text to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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