READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Human Navigation-Finding Our Way
A. The human positioning system is flexible and capable of learning. Anyone who knows the way from point A to point B, and from A to C, can probably figure out how to get from B to C, too. [Crack IELTS with Rob] But how does this complex cognitive system really work? Researchers are looking at several strategies people use to orient themselves in space: guidance, path integration, and route following. We may use all three or combinations thereof. As experts learn more about these navigational skills, they are making the case that our abilities may underlie our powers of memory and logical thinking.
B. If you ask passersby for help, most likely you will receive information in many different forms. A person who orients herself by a prominent landmark would gesture southward: “Look down there. See the tall, broad MetLife Building? Head for that—the station is right below it.” Neurologists call this navigational approach “guidance”, meaning that a landmark visible from a distance serves as the marker for one’s destination.
C. Another city dweller might say: “What places do you remember passing? Go toward the end of Central Park, then walk down to St.Patrick’s Cathedral. A few more blocks, and Grand Central will be off to your left.” In this case, you are pointed toward the most recent place and so on, retracing your path. Your brain is adding together the individual legs of your trek into a cumulative progress report. Researchers call this strategy “path integration”. Many animals rely primarily on path integration to get around, including insects, spiders, crabs and rodents. The desert ants of the genus Catalyphis employ this method to return from foraging as far as 100 yards away. [Crack IELTS with Rob] They note the general direction they came from and retrace their steps, using the polarization of sunlight to orient themselves even under overcast skies. On their way back they are faithful to this inner homing vector. Even when a scientist picks up an ant and puts it in totally different until it has gone “back” all of the distance it wandered from its nest. Only then does the ant realize it has not succeeded, and it begins to walk in successively larger loops to find its way home.
D. Whether it is trying to get back to the anthill or the train station, any animal using oath integration must keep track of its own movements so it knows, while returning, which segments it has already completed. As you move, your brain gathers data from your environment—sights, sound, smells, lighting, muscle contractions, a sense of tome passing—to determine which way your body has gone. The church spire, the sizzling sausages in that vendor’s grill, the open courtyard, the train station—all represent snapshots of memorable junctures during your journey.
E. In addition to guidance and path integration, we use a third method for finding our way. An office worker you approach for help on a Manhattan street corner might say: “Walk straight down Fifth, turn left on 47th, turn right on Park, go through the walkway under the Helmsley Building, then cross the street to the MetLife Building into Grand Central.” [Crack IELTS with Rob] This strategy, called route following, uses landmarks such as buildings and street names, plus directions – straight, turn, go through—for reaching intermediate points. Route following is more precise than guidance or path integration, but if you forget the details and take a wrong turn, the only way to recover is to backtrack until you reach a familiar spot, because you do not know the general direction or have a reference landmark for your goal. The route-following navigation strategy truly challenges the brain. We have to keep all the landmarks and intermediate directions in our head. It is the most detailed and therefore most reliable method, but it can be undone by routine memory lapses. With path integration, our cognitive memory is less burdened; it has to deal with only a few general instructions and the homing vector. Path integration works because it relies most fundamentally on our knowledge of our body’s general direction of movement, and we always have access to these inputs. Nevertheless, people often choose to give route-following directions, in part because saying “Go straight that way!” just does not work in our complex, man-made surroundings.
F. Road Map or Metaphor? On your next visit to Manhattan you will rely on your memory to get around. Most likely you will use guidance, path integration and route following in various combinations. But how exactly do these constructs deliver concrete directions? Do we humans have, as an image of the real world, a kind of road map in our heads—with symbols for cities, train stations and churches; thick lines for highways; narrow lines for local streets? Neurobiologists and cognitive psychologists do call the portion of our memory that controls navigation a “cognitive map”. The map metaphor is obviously seductive: maps are the easiest way to present geographic information for convenient visual inspection. [Crack IELTS with Rob] In many cultures, maps were developed before writing, and today they are used in almost every society. It is even possible that maps derive from a universal way in which our spatial-memory networks are wired.
G. Yet the notion of a literal map in our heads may be misleading; a growing body of research implies that the cognitive map is mostly a metaphor. It may be more like a hierarchical structure of relationships. To get back to Grand Central, you first envision the large scale—that is, you visualize the general direction of the station. Within that system you then imagine the route to the last place you remember. After that, you observe your nearby surroundings to pick out a recognizable storefront or street corner that will send you toward that place. In this hierarchical, or nested, scheme, positions and distances are relative, in contrast with a road map, where the same information is shown in a geometrically precise scale.
Questions 28 - 32
Use the information in the passage to match the category of each navigation method, A-C, with the correct statement.
Write the appropriate letters, A-C, in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once
B Path integration
C Route following
28. Using basic direction from starting point and light intensity to move on.B
29. Using combination of place and direction for destination.C
30. Using a well-known building near your destination as orientation.A
31. Using a retrace method from a known place if a mistake happens.C
32. Using a passed spot as reference for a new integration.B
Questions 33 - 35
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 33-35 on your answer sheet.
33. What does the ant of Cataglyphis respond if it has taken to another location?
34. Which of the following is true about “cognitive map” in this passage?
35. Which of following description of way findings correctly reflects the function of cognitive map?
Questions 36 - 40
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
36. Biological navigation has a state of flexibility.TRUE
37. You will always receive good reaction when you ask direction.NOT GIVEN
38. When someone follows a route, he or she collects comprehensive perceptional information inmind on the way.TRUE
39. Path integration requires more thought from brain compared with route-following.FALSE
40. In a familiar surrounding, your head will automatically figure out an exact map of where you are.NOT GIVEN