Official 30 Set 2

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Metacognition

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What is the lecture mainly about?
  • A. The difference between cognition and metacognition

  • B. A study showing that dolphins have less cognitive capacity than monkeys

  • C. The effectiveness of using food as a reward in experiments with monkeys

  • D. Research that investigates whether animals are aware of feeling uncertainty

显示答案 正确答案: D

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a psychology class.

    FEMALE PROFESSOR:We've been talking about animal cognition-the study of animal intelligence.Now, much of the research in this area is motivated by the search for animal analogs, or-or parallels, to human cognitive processes.And one of the processes we've been investigating is metacognition.

    What is metacognition?Well, it's being aware of what one knows or feels, um...having an awareness of one's state of mind.An-and- an-and making decisions about behavior based on what one knows.Researchers have long been interested in whether animals possess this capability, but-but couldn't test it...because animals aren't able to report their feelings.But recently, one group of researchers found a way to solve this problem.They did studies with-with monkeys and-and dolphins that provide evidence that these animals have the ability to feel uncertainty...to feel unsure about something and, well, to know that they're uncertain.

    So how could these researchers figure out if an animal feels uncertainty?Well, it began with a study one of them did on a dolphin, who'd been trained to recognize a particular high-pitched tone.The dolphin was taught to press one of two paddles, depending on whether it heard the high tone or one that was lower.Food was the reward for a correct response, but if the wrong paddle was pressed, the dolphin had to wait several seconds before it could try again.The task varied in difficulty according to the pitch of this second tone; the closer it came in pitch to the first one, the harder it became for the dolphin to correctly identify it as "low."An-and the researcher noted that the dolphin was quite eager to press the paddle when it was sure of the answer, but exhibited hesitation during difficult trials.

    Next, the researcher introduced a third option: a third paddle that would initiate a new trial, giving the dolphin the choice of passing on difficult trials.Once the dolphin figured out the result of pressing this new paddle, it did choose it frequently when the trial was difficult.The researcher took that as an indication that the animal wanted to pass because it didn't know the answer, and knew it didn't know.

    But there was a problem:Other researchers protested that th-the opt-out response was simply a learned or-or conditioned response... you remember intro to psychology, right?In other words, by pressing the "pass" paddle, the dolphin avoided having to wait, and hastened the possibility of a food reward by moving directly to the next trial.So the experiment didn't necessarily indicate that the dolphin had knowledge of its own uncertainty, just that it wanted to avoid negative consequences.

    So more recently, our researcher and his colleagues devised a new study- this time using monkeys.In this experiment, the monkeys had to identify certain patterns displayed on a computer screen.These patterns were analogous to the tones used in the dolphin study:one type of pattern was of a specific density and was to be classified as "dense," while a second type of pattern could vary in density but was always less dense than the first one-and the monkeys' task was to identify this second type as "sparse."So the denser this second type of pattern was, the more difficult the task became.And, as in the previous study, the monkeys were given a third choice that would allow them to pass on to a new trial.But-unlike in the dolphin experiment-the monkeys had to complete four trials before they got any feedback.They didn't know if they had responded correctly or incorrectly after each trial, because there was no reward or punishment.At the end of four trials, feedback was given-the monkeys received a food reward for each correct response and a time out, during which a buzzer was sounded, for each incorrect response-but the monkeys had no way to tell which reward or punishment was associated with which response.And they didn't get either reward or punishment for choosing the "pass" option, th-the uncertainty response.But nevertheless, they still chose this option in the appropriate circumstances-when the trial was particularly difficult.And this is evidence that it wasn't simply a conditioned response, because that response didn't guarantee a faster reward.

    So, what does all this tell us about animal consciousness, or animals' awareness of themselves an-and their state of mind?Can we really know what's going on in the minds of animals?No, of course not.But, exploring the metacognitive capacity of animals could become an important criterion in highlighting the similarities and differences between human and animal minds.

  • 旁白:听一段心理学课程。

    教授:我们已经说过动物认知了——动物智力的研究。此领域的大部分研究都是为了找出动物相似性,即与人类认知行为对应的过程。其中一种调查的过程是元认知。

    什么是元认知?元认知即能意识到一个人知道或感觉到的东西……对一个人的心态的认知。并基于所知作出行为决定。研究人员一直都很感兴趣,想知道到底动物是否具备这种能力,但无法通过测试找到答案,因为动物不能表达自己的情感。但在最近,一组研究人员找到了一种解决这一问题的方案。他们研究了猴子和海豚,并有证据证明,这些动物有感受不确定性的能力,能对某些事情感到不确定……能知道自己感到不确定。

    那么,这些研究人员是怎么知道动物是否觉得不确定呢?最开始时,其中一位研究人员对海豚进行了研究,这只经过训练的海豚能认出某种特定的高音音调。人们教海豚按下两个踏板中的其中一个,按下哪一个则取决于听到的是高音还是低音。反应正确则有食物奖励,但如果按下了错的踏板,海豚得等好几秒后才能再试一次。根据第二个音的音高不同,这个任务的难度也不同;第二个音的音高和第一个越接近,对海豚来说就越难辨别出它是低音。研究人员发现,海豚在对答案肯定时会很着急地按下踏板,但在难度高的测试中表现出犹豫不决。

    接着研究人员引入第三个选择,即第三个踏板,能引发一次新测试,给海豚跳过困难测试的机会。一旦海豚弄明白了按下这个新踏板的结果,遇到难度高的测试时,它会频繁地选择这个踏板。研究人员认为这说明了动物希望跳过(测试)是因为它不知道答案,也知道自己不知道答案。

    但有个问题。其他的研究人员提出抗议,认为这个选择跳过的反应只是一种习得反应,或条件反应...你们还记得心理学概论对吧?换句话说,通过按下“跳过”踏板,海豚避免了等待,还能增加得到食物奖励的可能性,因为它能直接进入下一次测试。所以这个实验不一定证明了海豚知道自己的不确定,只知道海豚想避免消极后果罢了。

    最近研究人员和他的同事设计了一个新的研究,这次他们用猴子(做实验)。在这个试验中,猴子需要辨别电脑屏幕上显示的不同图案。这些图案的作用类似于海豚研究中用到的音调。一种图案具有特定的密集度,被归为“密集”类,另一类图案的密集程度不同,但都比前一种的密集程度低---猴子要做的就是认出第二类是“稀疏的”。所以第二类图案的密集程度越高,任务的难度越高。正如之前的研究一样,猴子们也有第三种选择,它们能跳过(这一轮)到下一次测试。但和海豚实验不同的是,猴子要完成4个测试后才会得到反馈。它们不知道自己回答得是否正确,因为实验中没有奖励也没有惩罚。4次测试结束后,才有反馈---猴子们在每次作答正确后会得到食物奖励,错误则要被暂停作答,暂停期间会有蜂鸣器响起---但猴子们无法得知哪个奖励或惩罚是对应哪次回答的。它们选择“跳过”——不确定回答的话,既没有奖励也没有惩罚。但无论如何,在测试特别难的时候,它们仍然会在合适的情况下选择这一项。这就证明了这种行为不是条件反应,因为这种反应不能保证更快的回报。

    就动物自我意识即动物对心理活动的意识方面而言,这些都告诉了我们什么呢?我们真的能知道动物脑子里都在想什么吗?不。当然不能。但对动物元认知能力的探索可能成为强调人类思维和动物思维的相似性和差异性的重要标准。

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    题型分析:主旨题

    原文定位

    But recently, one group of researchers found a way to solve this problem.They did studies with-with monkeys and-and dolphins that provide evidence that these animals have the ability to feel uncertainty...to feel unsure about something and, well, to know that they're uncertain. So how could these researchers figure out if an animal feels uncertainty?

    选项分析

    一开始就说有很多关于metacognition的研究,后面就解释了一下。再往后就引出了已经有研究表明动物可以feel uncertainty。整个lecture都是围绕这个主题展开的。选项D正确。

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