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2016 GMAT OG :Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help animals

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NandishSS Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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2016 GMAT OG :Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help animals

Post Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:40 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help animals react appropriately to situations they encounter by drawing on the past experience of similar situations. But this does not require that animals perfectly recall every detail of all their experiences. Instead, to function well, memory should generalize from past experiences that are similar to the current one.

    The neuroscientist's statements, if true, most strongly support which of the following conclusions?

    (A)At least some animals perfectly recall every detail of at least some past experiences.
    (B)Perfectly recalling every detail of all their past experiences could help at least some animals react more appropriately than they otherwise would to new situations they encounter.
    (C)Generalizing from past experiences requires clear memories of most if not all the details of those experiences.
    (D)Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be incompatible with any ability to generalize from those experiences.
    (E)Animals can often react more appropriately than they otherwise would to situations they encounter if they draw on generalizations from past experiences of similar situations.

    OA:E

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    Post Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:16 am
    NandishSS wrote:
    Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help animals react appropriately to situations they encounter by drawing on the past experience of similar situations. But this does not require that animals perfectly recall every detail of all their experiences. Instead, to function well, memory should generalize from past experiences that are similar to the current one.

    The neuroscientist's statements, if true, most strongly support which of the following conclusions?

    (A)At least some animals perfectly recall every detail of at least some past experiences.
    (B)Perfectly recalling every detail of all their past experiences could help at least some animals react more appropriately than they otherwise would to new situations they encounter.
    (C)Generalizing from past experiences requires clear memories of most if not all the details of those experiences.
    (D)Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be incompatible with any ability to generalize from those experiences.
    (E)Animals can often react more appropriately than they otherwise would to situations they encounter if they draw on generalizations from past experiences of similar situations.

    OA:E
    We've got an inference question, so let's summarize the facts we'll be deriving this inference from:

    - Memory evolved to help animals react appropriately to similar situations they've previously encountered
    - Animals don't need to remember every detail
    - memory should generalize from past experience

    Based on the above, what can we conclude?

    A) nope. The prompt states explicitly that perfect recall isn't necessary. It certainly doesn't suggest that some animals have it.
    B) nope. Again, perfect recall isn't the point. Generalization is.
    C) nope. The prompt never goes into how much an animal must remember to form this generalization. No reason to believe it needs to remember most of the details of an experience to generalize from it.
    D) nope. Though animals don't require perfect recall, there's no reason to believe that perfect recall would prevent generalization.
    E) Looks good. If animals didn't react more appropriately when they drew on generalizations, how could doing so be considered helpful? The whole point of the passage is that generalizing from past experience will help an animal make better decisions when it encounters a similar situation. E is the answer.

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    Post Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:46 am
    NandishSS wrote:
    Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help animals react appropriately to situations they encounter by drawing on the past experience of similar situations. But this does not require that animals perfectly recall every detail of all their experiences. Instead, to function well, memory should generalize from past experiences that are similar to the current one.

    The neuroscientist's statements, if true, most strongly support which of the following conclusions?

    (A)At least some animals perfectly recall every detail of at least some past experiences.
    (B)Perfectly recalling every detail of all their past experiences could help at least some animals react more appropriately than they otherwise would to new situations they encounter.
    (C)Generalizing from past experiences requires clear memories of most if not all the details of those experiences.
    (D)Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be incompatible with any ability to generalize from those experiences.
    (E)Animals can often react more appropriately than they otherwise would to situations they encounter if they draw on generalizations from past experiences of similar situations.

    An alternate approach is to apply the NEGATION TEST.
    When the correct answer choice is negated, the passage will be CONTRADICTED.

    E, negated:
    Animals rarely react more appropriately if they draw on generalizations from past experiences.
    This negation contradicts the passage's contention that memory should generalize from past experiences.
    Since the negation of E contradicts the passage, E is a valid inference: a statement that MUST BE TRUE, given the information in the passage.

    The correct answer is E.

    The other options, negated:

    (A) No animals perfectly recall every detail.
    This negation does not contradict the passage, which offers no information about the proportion of animals able to recall every detail.

    (B) Perfectly recalling every detail would not help any animals.
    This negation confirms the passage's contention that animals do not need to remember every detail of past experiences.

    C) Generalizing from past experiences does not require clear memories of all the details.
    This negation confirms the passage's contention that animals do not need to remember every detail of past experiences.

    (D) Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be compatible with an ability to generalize.
    This negation does not contradict the passage, which states only that recalling every detail is not required.

    Since none of these negations contradicts the passage, eliminate A, B, C and D.

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    rsarashi Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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    Post Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:20 pm
    Quote:
    An alternate approach is to apply the NEGATION TEST.
    When the correct answer choice is negated, the passage will be CONTRADICTED.

    E, negated:
    Animals rarely react more appropriately if they draw on generalizations from past experiences.
    This negation contradicts the passage's contention that memory should generalize from past experiences.
    Since the negation of E contradicts the passage, E is a valid inference: a statement that MUST BE TRUE, given the information in the passage.

    The correct answer is E.

    The other options, negated:

    (A) No animals perfectly recall every detail.
    This negation does not contradict the passage, which offers no information about the proportion of animals able to recall every detail.

    (B) Perfectly recalling every detail would not help any animals.
    This negation confirms the passage's contention that animals do not need to remember every detail of past experiences.

    C) Generalizing from past experiences does not require clear memories of all the details.
    This negation confirms the passage's contention that animals do not need to remember every detail of past experiences.

    (D) Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be compatible with an ability to generalize.
    This negation does not contradict the passage, which states only that recalling every detail is not required.

    Since none of these negations contradicts the passage, eliminate A, B, C and D.
    [/quote]Hi GMATGuruNY ,

    Can we solve inference question by negating method?

    Thanks

    Post Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:08 pm
    rsarashi wrote:
    Can we solve inference question by negating method?

    Thanks
    Another way of thinking about "what can be inferred/concluded" is "what must be true, based on the above?" As such, we can approach the answer choices by asking, "does this statement HAVE to be true?" Eliminate any for which you'd respond "maybe, but there might be cases when it's not true."

    This is a slightly different - but related - thought process from the NEGATION test that we use on FIND ASSUMPTION questions. For those, we ask "if the opposite of this thing were true, would it undermine the argument?"

    For inference questions, I generally ask myself "is there a way for this thing NOT to be true, and still be consistent with the given information?"

    Did that help?

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