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# 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help

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2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2015, 08:06
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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.

OG16 Question 1 P502
OG17 CR 544 P510
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2015, 08:54
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2016 GMAT Official Guide, Question 1, Page 502

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.

Explanation

Question Type: Inference
Boil It Down (Simplified & Abbreviated Summary of the Prompt): Generalized memory helps animals better function in similar situations
Goal: Based on the prompt, find the option that has to be true with 100% certainty.

Analysis: This is a straightforward Inference question. Given the information in the prompt that animals have evolved to draw on past experience to function better in similar situations, AND that the memories need not be perfect, just general, we need to find an option that follows with 100% certainty. In Inference questions, GMAC will be guaranteed to deliver 2 types of incorrect options:

1) Those that are too extreme to be supported from the facts given
2) Options that seem reasonable, but are not supported from the facts given

This question has both. Let's see which option best achieves our objectives:

A) From the facts given do we KNOW that at least some animals have the ability to perfectly recall every detail of at least some past experiences? No. From what's given, maybe, but maybe (and probably not). If the option is not 100% supported, DUMP IT! This is an example of an option that's reasonable, but unsupported.

B) This option is doomed right from the beginning. Since we don't know that any animal is even capable of recalling EVERY detail of ALL their past experiences, this option is discussing circumstances that are totally unsupported by the prompt. This option draws from circumstances that are too extreme and then makes a reasonable claim (perfect retention might help). The thing is, how do we know 100%? We don't. Maybe perfect retention is a curse. Maybe any animal that would be capable of perfect retention would be overloaded in a similar circumstance. This option is not supported with 100% certainty, so DUMP IT!

C) Reasonable but not 100% supported. Do we know that a successful generalization from past experiences requires clear memories of MOST if not ALL of the details of those experiences? No. Maybe a successful generalization requires 20% recollection for all we know. DUMP IT! Note, that "MOST if not ALL of the details of those experiences" ventures into extreme territory. We don't actually know that such a high level of retention is even possible.

D) This option goes to extreme on the negative side. So maybe an animal is capable of perfect recollection, but can we infer that this animal would then be incapable of generalizing from that information because of it? No. Too extreme. Maybe the animal could do a wonderful job of generalizing from perfect retention. Not supported with 100% certainty, so DUMP IT!

E) Yes! Notice the delicate and measured wording of this option. It's worded in such a way as to be GUARANTEED from the facts in the prompt. Yes, animals can often react more appropriately than they otherwise would to situations they encounter if the draw on generalizations from past experiences or similar situations. In fact, this option is so agreeable with the information in the prompt, it's probably playing it too conservative. We know this option with 100% certainty, therefore it's the correct option.
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2015, 22:09
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.
Pre think answer-Generalization from past experiences help the animals to react more appropriately than recalling every specific detail

A-This may be true but not always true since we do no know the number of animals who recalls every specific detail and the number of animals who generalize from past experiences
B-It states the opposite since it has been stated in the argument generalization is preferred over recalling every specific detail
C-Requirement of generalizing from past experiences is not the issue here
D-Incompatibilty factor of generalization and recalling specific detail is not discussed here hence out of scope
E-Similar to pre think step hence correct
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2016, 05:04
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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15 Apr 2017, 00:17
LithiumIon wrote:
2016 GMAT Official Guide, Question 1, Page 502
2017 GMAT Official Guide, Question 544, Page 510

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.

Evolution of Memory

Step 1: Identify the Question

The words support which of the following conclusions in the question stem indicate that this is an Inference question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Purpose of memory: past experience → smarter reactions
BUT don’t need all details (can generalize)

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Inference questions, the goal is to find an answer that can be proven based ONLY on the information in the argument.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The argument doesn’t give any evidence regarding the memory abilities of particular animals, only information about how memory works in general. In fact, the argument specifies that animals don’t need to perfectly recall details, since they can generalize.
(B) The argument specifies that memory can function well without perfect recall of details. It’s possible that perfectly recalling details would cause memory to function even better, but the argument doesn’t claim that this is the case.
(C) The argument contrasts perfectly recalling every detail with generalizing from past experiences, using the word instead. The argument does not indicate that generalizing from past experiences requires recall of most if not all details; it’s possible that recall of only some, not most, details is required.
(D) Animals can generalize from past experiences to make up for their inability to recall every detail perfectly. However, an animal that could recall every detail perfectly might still generalize from past experiences. The argument doesn’t provide any information about such animals, so no conclusions about them can be drawn.
(E) CORRECT. The first sentence of the argument claims that memory helps animals react appropriately. In the final sentence, the author claims that memory can function well by generalizing from similar situations. This answer combines those two claims: if the animal generalizes from similar past situations, it can then react more appropriately in future situations.
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2017, 21:40
1m 40s to solve this.
I think this can be solved in less than a minute by many.
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2017, 12:59
Situation:

A neuroscientist claims that memory evolved to help animals learn how to react appropriately by generalizing from past experiences but that this does not require animals to remember all details of those experiences.

Reasoning:

What conclusion would the neuroscientist’s theory about memory most strongly support? The neuroscientist asserts that the evolutionary function of memory is to help animals learn to react appropriately by drawing on generalizations from similar experiences they have had. If memory is to serve this function, drawing on generalizations must actually help animals learn to react more appropriately than they otherwise would, even when they do not remember all the details of past experiences.

"E" is the correct choice - If the evolutionary function of memory is to help animals react more appropriately by drawing on generalizations from past experiences, it follows that animal memories can often successfully serve this function in this manner.
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Re: 2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2017, 00:08
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.

Main point that we need to keep in mind while solving this question - 1.) Animal use past experiences to react in similar situation; 2.) Not necessary to perfectly recall experiences and 3.) To function well, it is better to generalize past experiences instead of perfectly recalling it

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.[Out of Scope: The premise does not mention what some animals do and what others do not.]

(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.[Out of Scope: Since this is inference question, we cannot bring is new information and using the information given in the passage, we cannot infer this. ]

(C) Generalizing from past experiences requires clear memories of most if not all the details of those experiences.[This is not mentioned in the passage - the passage simple mentions that we need to generalize from past experiences, whether we need most or least details is not mentioned, hence the statement is out of context]

(D) Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be incompatible with any ability to generalize from those experiences.[We know that to function well, we need to generalize, but we do not know if recalling every detail is compatible or incompatible. Hence even this statement can be eliminated.]

(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.["react more appropriately than they otherwise would" - this statement is similar to " in order to function well" and hence, this clearly has to be the answer.]

OG16 Question 1 P502
OG17 CR 544 P510[/quote]
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2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2017, 03:46
Main premise of the argument:
Animals do not need to recall each and every memory of a past incident to react to current one; Instead they should generalize from past experiences to function well.

So Conclusion would be: If animals generalize from past experiences of similar conditions, they will react to current situation appropriately.

Only Option E states above point, hence the answer.
2016 OG Q1 - Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help   [#permalink] 12 Oct 2017, 03:46
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