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the questions. Each question has four options, select the most appropriate answer, based on what is contained or implied in the
51. Finish the sentence "Mental faculties that improve with
A. is yet to be confirmed by scientists
B. have been hard for scientist to characterise
C. has been a daunting task for scientists
D. has been a topic of conversation for scientists
OLDER REALLY CAN MEAN WISER
Behind all those canned compliments for older adults --- spry! wily! wise! --- is an appreciation for something that scientists have
had a hard time characterizing: mental faculties that improve with age.
Knowledge is a large part of the equation, of course. People who are middle-aged and older tend to know more than young adults,
by virtue of having been around longer, and score higher on vocabulary tests, crossword puzzles and other measures of so-called
Still, young adults who consult their elders (mostly when desperate) don't do so just to gather facts, solve crosswords or borrow
a credit card. Nor, generally, are they looking for help with short-term memory or puzzle solving. Those abilities, called fluid intelli-
gence, peak in the 20s.
No, the older brain offers something more, according to a new paper in the journal Psychological Science. Elements of social judgment
and short-term memory, important pieces of the cognitive puzzle, may peak later in life than previously thought.
The postdoctoral fellows Joshua Hartshorne of M.I.T. and Laura Germine of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed
a huge trove of scores on cognitive tests taken by people of all ages. The researchers found that the broad split in age-related cog-
nition --- fluid in the young, crystallized in the old --- masked several important nuances.
"This dichotomy between early peaks and later peaks is way too coarse," Dr. Hartshorne said. "There are a lot more patterns going
on and we need to take those into account to fully understand the effects of age on cognition."
The new paper is hardly the first challenge to the scientific literature on age-related decline, and it won't be the last. A year ago,
German scientists argued that cognitive "deficits" in aging were caused largely by the accumulation of knowledge --- that is, the
brain slows down because it has to search a larger mental library of facts. That idea has stirred some debate among scientists.
Experts said the new analysis raised a different question: Are there distinct, independent elements of memory and cognition that
peak at varying times of life?
"I think they have more work to do to demonstrate that that's the case," said Denise Park, a professor of behaviour and brain science
at the University of Texas at Dallas. "But this is a provocative paper, and it's going to have an impact on the field."
The strength of the new analysis is partly in its data. The study evaluated historic scores from the popular Wechsler intelligence
test, and compared them with more recent results from tens of thousands of people who took short cognitive tests on the authors'
websites, testmybrain.org and gameswithwords.org. The one drawback of this approach is that, because it didn't follow the same
people over a lifetime, it might have missed the effect of different cultural experiences, said K. Warner Schaie, a researcher at Penn
But most previous studies have not been nearly as large, or had such a range of ages. Participants on the websites were 10 to 89
years old, and they took a large battery of tests, measuring skills like memory for abstract symbols and strings of digits, problem
solving, and facility reading emotions from strangers' eyes.
At least as important, the researchers looked at the effect of age on each type of test. Previous research had often grouped related
tests together, on the assumption that they captured a single underlying attribute in the same way a coach might rate, say, ath-
leticism based on a person's speed, strength and vertical leaping ability.
The result of the new approach? "We found different abilities really maturing or ripening at different ages," Dr. Germine said. "It's
a much richer picture of the life span than just calling it aging."
Processing speed --- the quickness with which someone can manipulate digits, words or images, as if on a mental sketch board ---
generally peaks in the late teens, Dr. Germine and Dr. Hartshorne confirmed, and memory for some things, like names, does so in
the early 20s. But the capacity of that sketch board, called working memory, peaks at least a decade later and is slow to decline. In
particular, the ability to recall faces and do some mental manipulation of numbers peaked about age 30, the study found, "a fact
difficult to assimilate into the fluid/crystallized intelligence dichotomy."
The researchers also analyzed results from the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. The test involves looking at snapshots of
strangers' eyes on a computer screen and determining their moods from a menu of options like "tentative," "uncertain" and "skep-
"It's not an easy test, and you're not sure afterward how well you did," Dr. Germine said. "I thought I'd done poorly but in fact did
pretty well." Yet people in their 40s or 50s consistently did the best, the study found, and the skill declined very slowly later in life.
The picture that emerges from these findings is of an older brain that moves more slowly than its younger self, but is just as
accurate in many areas and more adept at reading others' moods --- on top of being more knowledgeable. That's a handy combination,
given that so many important decisions people make intimately affects others.
No one needs a cognitive scientist to explain that it's better to approach a boss about a raise when he or she is in a good mood. But
the older mind may be better able to head off interpersonal misjudgements and to navigate tricky situations.
"As in, 'that person's not happy with all your quick thinking and young person's processing speed --- he's about to punch you,'" said
Zach Hambrick, a psychology professor at Michigan State University.
The details of this more textured picture of the aging brain are still far from clear, and social measures like the Reading the Mind in
the Eyes test have not been used much in this kind of research, Dr. Hambrick and other experts said. And it is not apparent from
the new analysis whether changes in cognition with age result from a single cause --- like a decline in the speed of neural transmission
--- or to multiple ones.
But for now, the new research at least gives some meaning to the empty adjective "wily."
A version of this article appears in print on March 17, 2015, on page D3 of the New York edition with the headline: Older Really Can
(Article by Benedict Carey of the New York Times)
52. What do you understand by the term "crystallized intelli-
gence" (line 6)?
A. Intelligence that is sound
B. Limited intelligence
C. Intelligence that can be scientifically measured
D. Intelligence that comes from prior learning or experience.
53. How would you describe "fluid intelligence" (line 9)?
A. Having a wide base of knowledge
B. Intelligence that is clear and logical
C. The ability to reason and resolve issues
D. Intelligence that increases overtime based on learning
54. The term "cognitive" relates to?
A. emotional conditioning
B. short term memory and judgement
C. memory loss
D. a deficit caused by accumulated knowledge
55. Which of the following words BEST describes the word
56. Why were the studies carried out by the Wechsler intelli-
gence test and testmybrain.org flawed?
A. The tests were deficient for different reasons.
B. Both test examined different aspects of the brain.
C. The same group of participants should have been used
D. The tests were not executed in a controlled
57. How would you classify the tests between Wechsler in-
telligence test and testmybrain.org as
A. Comparative studies
B. Reliable studies
C. Abstract studies
D. Objective studies
58. The group of participants engaged in the website testing
ranged in ages from 10 -- 89. What impact would the age
group have had on the results?
A. The data obtained from the 10 year olds would have
been less reliable because smaller kids may not fully
understand the questions being asked.
B. Studies targeting a smaller group would mean less
data to manage and allow for greater accuracy in the
C. The 10 - 89 grouping would have presented a more
holistic picture of intelligence as it encompassed each
D. Since the studies reveal information on the 20 -- 50 year
group, perhaps it would have been better to target
59. What did (line 53) "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" studies
and analysis reveal about the older brain?
A. The older brain slows down because it has a larger
mental library of facts.
B. The older brain moves slower, but is more
knowledgeable, accurate and adept to reading moods.
C. The older is more fluid than the younger brain.
D. The deterioration taking place in the older brain is rapid.
However, it can retain more knowledge and is better
equipped to read the moods of people.
60. The writer views are supports MAINLY by his
C. Personal Opinion
END OF ENGLISH TEST
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