Official 28 Set 3

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Mirror Self-Recognition

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What is the main purpose of the lecture?
  • A. To show that some birds have cognitive skills similar to those of primates

  • B. To explain how the brains of certain primates and birds evolved

  • C. To compare different tests that measure the cognitive abilities of animals

  • D. To describe a study of the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities

显示答案 正确答案: A

我的笔记 编辑笔记

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in an animal behavior class.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:As you know, researchers have long been interested in discovering exactly how "intelligent" animals are.Today we're going to talk about a particular cognitive ability some animals seem to have-the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.

    FEMALE STUDENT:Oh, I've heard about that-chimpanzees have it...

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Right...chimpanzees and other primates- [listing] chimps, gorillas, orangutans... and of course humans.But it's also been found in elephants and bottle-nosed dolphins-a bit of a surprise.It's very rare-most animals don't have it. And it's called mirror self-recognition, or MSR.

    FEMALE STUDENT:[a little confused] Well...how does it work?[hesitating] I-I mean... how do researchers know if elephants or chimps recognize themselves?

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Researchers give them the mirror mark test.

    In the mirror mark test, researchers put a mark on the animal where the animal is unable to see it- or smell it or feel it, like on the side of their head-without looking in a mirror.Now, typically, when animals first see themselves in a mirror, they think they're seeing another animal.Often they'll look for this animal behind the mirror. They may even exhibit aggressive behavior.But some animals, after this period of exploration, exhibit behaviors that show they know they're looking at themselves.For instance, elephants will touch the mark on their heads with their trunks.

    Now, it's been assumed that primates and some other mammals stood alone at the top of the hierarchy of cognitive evolution.But recently, birds have been found to possess some of the same cognitive abilities.In particular, researchers have discovered these abilities in corvids-birds of the Corvidae family.

    Corvids include ravens, jays, crows, and magpies, among others.And what kinds of cognitive abilities are we talking about?Well, corvids, and some mammals, have the ability to plan for the future-to store food, for instance, in places where they can find it later.It's been suggested, in fact, that jays-corvids known for stealing each others' food-may hide their food precisely because they're projecting their own tendency to steal onto other jays.

    So let's talk about a study recently conducted with magpies.

    As I said, magpies are corvids.And because corvids have these other cognitive skills, researchers wanted to see if they were also capable of mirror self-recognition.So they gave them the mirror mark test, placing a yellow sticker on the birds' black throat feathers.At first, the magpies all engaged in the same social behaviors that other animals do-looking behind the mirror, etc.But eventually, some of the birds, while looking in the mirror, kept scratching at the mark until they got rid of it. And they didn't scratch at it when there was no mirror around. So, they passed the test.

    MALE STUDENT:Wow-do any other birds have this ability?

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Well, not that we know of.There was a study using pigeons, where researchers attempted to reduce MSR to a matter of conditioning—that is, they claimed that the ability to recognize oneself in a mirror could be learned.So these researchers basically trained some pigeons to pass the mirror mark test.But two things are noteworthy here.One, no one's ever replicated this study. But more importantly, it misses the point.The issue isn't whether some behavior can be learned; it's whether a species has developed this ability spontaneously.

    MALE STUDENT:So what does the test tell us about corvids...or chimpanzees?

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:Good question.For one thing, it's important because it sets animals with a sense of self apart from those without a sense of self.But more importantly, many researchers believe that MSR is indicative of other advanced cognitive abilities.Self-awareness, even in its earliest stages, might entail an awareness of others, the ability to see their perspective-to look at the world from another's point of view.This is crucial, because it implies a high level of cognitive development-it's perhaps the first stage toward the development of empathy.

    MALE STUDENT:But, birds' brains are so small, compared to primates...

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:True-though corvids do have unusually large brains, for birds.But size isn't the whole story. It's thought that primates are so "intelligent" because of a certain part of their brains, which birds simply don't have.But there is an area in birds' brains that researchers believe governs similar cognitive functions.So, primates' and birds' brains have evolved along different tracks, but ended up with similar abilities.

  • 旁白:听一段动物行为课。

    教授:正如你们所知,研究人员一直很感兴趣,想知道动物到底有多聪明。今天我们将谈谈一种特殊的认知能力,似乎某些动物也具有这种能力——在镜子中认出自己。

    学生:我听说过。黑猩猩可以。

    教授:对。黑猩猩和其它灵长类动物,像黑猩猩、大猩猩和猩猩,当然了,还有人类。但大象和宽吻海豚也具备这种能力,这可是有点出乎意料。这很罕见。大多数动物都没有这种能力。这称为镜像自我认知,或MSR。

    学生:这是怎么操作的?我是说,研究人员是怎么知道大象或黑猩猩认出了自己的?

    教授:研究人员给它们做了镜像标记测试。

    在镜像标记测试中,研究人员在给动物做了标记,但动物看不见、闻不出且感觉不到这个标记所在,像是在它们脑袋的一边,除非看镜子。一般来说,当动物第一次在镜子里看到自己,会以为它们看到的是别的动物。通常它们会寻找镜子后的动物。它们甚至还可能会表现出攻击性行为。但某些动物在探索阶段过后,其行为表示它们知道它们看见的是自己。举个例子吧,大象会用鼻子触碰脑袋上的标记。

    大家都认为灵长类动物和其它一些哺乳动物居于认知进化层次的顶端。但在最近,人们发现鸟类也具备某些相同的认知能力。特别是研究人员发现了鸦科鸟类具有这些能力。

    鸦类包括渡鸦、松鸦、乌鸦和喜鹊等。我们说的是什么样的认知能力呢?鸦类和一些哺乳动物有为未来谋划的能力,比如说把食物储存在它们以后能找得到的地方。事实上有人认为,松鸦(一种以互相偷窃食物为人们所知的鸦可能会把食物藏起来,原因正是它们把自己偷窃的可能性投射到其它松鸦上了。

    来看看最近一个关于喜鹊的研究。

    正如我所说的,喜鹊属鸦类。因为鸦类具有其它的认知技能,研究人员想知道鸦类是否具有镜像自我认知能力。所以他们给喜鹊做了镜像标记测试,给鸟喉咙上的黑色羽毛贴了黄色标签。一开始,喜鹊表现的行为和别的动物没什么两样,看镜子后面等等。但最后,其中一些鸟在看着镜子的同时,不断地抓挠标记,直到它们把标记弄掉。在没有镜子的时候,它们不抓标记。它们通过了测试。

    学生:哇!其它鸟也有这种能力吗?

    教授:据我们所知,没有。有个研究用了鸽子,研究人员试图把镜像自我认知降低为条件作用的一种,即他们声称在镜子中认出自己的能力是可以习得的。所以这些研究人员基本上就是训练鸽子以通过镜像标记测试。但有两点值得注意。第一,没人复制过这个研究。但更重要的是,这个研究没找到重点。问题不在于某些行为是否可以习得;而是一种生物能否自发地发展出这种能力。

    学生:所以鸦鸟或黑猩猩的测试告诉了我们什么?

    教授:问得好。一方面,这很重要,因为这能把具有自我意识的动物和不具自我意识的动物区分开。但更重要的是,很多研究者认为,镜像自我认知是其它高级认知能力的表现。自我意识,哪怕是在最早期的阶段,也可能会引发对别人的感知,即知道别的视角的能力,能从别人的角度看世界。这至关重要,因为这代表了更高级的认知发展——这也许是发展出移情作用的第一步。

    学生:但比起灵长类,鸟类的脑袋非常小。

    教授:对,尽管作为鸟类,鸦类的脑袋大得有些不寻常了。但尺寸不是全部。人们认为灵长类之所以这么聪明,是因为头脑的某个特定部分,鸟类则不具备这部分。但鸟类脑部确实有一个区域,研究人员认为这个区域支配着相似的认知功能。所以,灵长类和鸟类的脑部以不同的方式进化着,但最后(进化出来的)能力是相似的。

  • 官方解析
  • 网友贡献解析
  • 本题对应音频:
    1 感谢 不懂
    音频1
    解析

    题型分析:主旨题

    原文定位Professor: As you know, researchers have long been interested in discovering exactly how intelligent animals are. Today we are going to talk about a particular cognitive ability some animals seem to have—the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.

    选项分析

    文章开头直接给出Today 作为提示,音频中给出的关键信息cognitive,然后分别详细阐述了bird brain 以及primate的信息。最后说到两者虽然进化路径不同但是有相似能力

    A 选项即为对话核心名词cognitive的完美诠释,是对全文主旨最准确的概括

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