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# Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey

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Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2009, 11:02
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Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey parrots, seem to exhibit cognitive functions typically associated with higher-order primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans. Some parrots, for example, have vocabularies of hundreds of words that they can string together in a comprehensible syntax. This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate. One parrot, named Alex, has been known to ask to be petted or kissed and will exhibit aggression if the gesture offered is not the specific one requested.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion above?

A. Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues.
B. Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water.
C. Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense sadness.
D. Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food.
E. Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested.

is it C?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by ankurgupta03 on 27 Feb 2014, 03:32, edited 1 time in total.
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11 Mar 2009, 15:00
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E will certainly strengthen the conclusion. The stem tells us that Alex becomes aggressive if a requested gesture is not proffered. Taken on its own, this is evidence of nothing - maybe Alex always becomes aggressive after requesting a gesture, regardless of whether it's offered or not. From Alex's aggression alone, we don't know whether Alex truly understands the meaning of his communication; Alex might have no more understanding of language than an mp3 player (an aggressive one!). If E could be proven, that would provide evidence that Alex understands the meaning of his communication, and can associate his communication with the response it receives.

Answers A, C and D have a much more tenuous relationship with the conclusion of the passage, which is about learning language, and not about learning other tasks, and D is especially irrelevant because chimpanzees are specifically excluded from the group of animals the author is discussing. Answer B only confirms what the passage tells us: gorillas are capable of using some form of language.
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11 Mar 2009, 15:04
The conclusion says that all animals such as dogs, parrots are capable of using language for communication.

A.Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues. - Can be taught - does not explicitly say anything about dolphins communicating back.
B.Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water. - Gorillas are primates, as per the argument.
C.Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense
D.Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food. Again, primates.
E.Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested. This is implicit in the argument.
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11 Mar 2009, 15:18
IanStewart wrote:
E will certainly strengthen the conclusion. The stem tells us that Alex becomes aggressive if a requested gesture is not proffered. Taken on its own, this is evidence of nothing - maybe Alex always becomes aggressive after requesting a gesture, regardless of whether it's offered or not. From Alex's aggression alone, we don't know whether Alex truly understands the meaning of his communication; Alex might have no more understanding of language than an mp3 player (an aggressive one!). If E could be proven, that would provide evidence that Alex understands the meaning of his communication, and can associate his communication with the response it receives.

Answers A, C and D have a much more tenuous relationship with the conclusion of the passage, which is about learning language, and not about learning other tasks, and D is especially irrelevant because chimpanzees are specifically excluded from the group of animals the author is discussing. Answer B only confirms what the passage tells us: gorillas are capable of using some form of language.

Can you please elaborate on this Ian:

The stem states that Alex requests a specific gesture and gets annoyed if that specific gesture is not offered. Based on this how can you decipher that Alex does not truly understand the meaning of his communication ? If Alex were to uniformly express aggression for any kind of response - wouldn't that be mentioned in the argument ?

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11 Mar 2009, 16:06
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pbanavara wrote:
Can you please elaborate on this Ian:

The stem states that Alex requests a specific gesture and gets annoyed if that specific gesture is not offered. Based on this how can you decipher that Alex does not truly understand the meaning of his communication ? If Alex were to uniformly express aggression for any kind of response - wouldn't that be mentioned in the argument ?

If the argument needs to be strengthened, which is what the question asks us to do, then certainly something hasn't been mentioned in the argument. Here, what hasn't been mentioned is how Alex behaves when he does receive what he asks for. We have no information about that (without using answer choice E), and in GMAT CR questions, you certainly can't make assumptions about anything not mentioned in the passage.
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11 Mar 2009, 18:17
IanStewart wrote:
pbanavara wrote:
Can you please elaborate on this Ian:

The stem states that Alex requests a specific gesture and gets annoyed if that specific gesture is not offered. Based on this how can you decipher that Alex does not truly understand the meaning of his communication ? If Alex were to uniformly express aggression for any kind of response - wouldn't that be mentioned in the argument ?

If the argument needs to be strengthened, which is what the question asks us to do, then certainly something hasn't been mentioned in the argument. Here, what hasn't been mentioned is how Alex behaves when he does receive what he asks for. We have no information about that (without using answer choice E), and in GMAT CR questions, you certainly can't make assumptions about anything not mentioned in the passage.

Thanks Ian, much appreciated.
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11 Mar 2009, 20:23
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nitya34 wrote:
Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey parrots, seem to exhibit cognitive functions typically associated with higher-order primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans. Some parrots, for example, have vocabularies of hundreds of words that they can string together in a comprehensible syntax. This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate. One parrot, named Alex, has been known to ask to be petted or kissed and will exhibit aggression if the gesture offered is not the specific one requested.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion above?

A.Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues.
B.Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water.
C.Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense
D.Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food.
E.Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested.

is it C?

I also think of E. I did POE to find the answer: B and D are out because chimpanzees & gorillas are considered higher-order primates. Dogs are capable of doing something but that is not characterisitc of higher-order primates, so C is out. Dolphins are trained so NO "cognitive functions" - A is out.
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11 Mar 2009, 21:55
OA-E
I eliminated the Choices related to Primates and then picked up wrong one
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12 Mar 2009, 01:09
Though im late but E definitely
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17 Mar 2009, 09:06
Nitya,

What is the source of the question?

I find one problem in E - It is a mistaken negation of the last sentence of the argument. Ideally the correct answer should be the contra positive of the original argument

or is it that I'm missing something?

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18 Mar 2009, 09:07
Good one fell for C. But as Ian said E is the one that is perfect.
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21 Mar 2009, 02:46
The conclusion is about "using language in communication by some animals". Then, the last sentence provides example of that communication.

E, correctly, validates that example.
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27 Oct 2009, 02:52
nitya34 wrote:
Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey parrots, seem to exhibit cognitive functions typically associated with higher-order primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans. Some parrots, for example, have vocabularies of hundreds of words that they can string together in a comprehensible syntax. This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate. One parrot, named Alex, has been known to ask to be petted or kissed and will exhibit aggression if the gesture offered is not the specific one requested.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion above?

A.Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues.
B.Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water.
C.Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense
D.Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food.
E.Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested.

is it C?

We must identify the conclusion first :" humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate". So other option except E are out because mention nothing of the capability of using language
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27 Oct 2009, 12:54
good one. only E supports the conclusion.
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Re: Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2013, 02:26
nitya34 wrote:
Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey parrots, seem to exhibit cognitive functions typically associated with higher-order primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans. Some parrots, for example, have vocabularies of hundreds of words that they can string together in a comprehensible syntax. This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate. One parrot, named Alex, has been known to ask to be petted or kissed and will exhibit aggression if the gesture offered is not the specific one requested.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion above?

A.Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues.
B.Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water.
C.Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense
D.Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food.
E.Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested.

is it C?

B,D out - talk about primates.
A - no communication thing mentioned.

I see showing care as a kind of a communication .. I marked C. E is correct but C is better. E just tells a little more about an example cited in argument ...
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Re: Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2013, 11:54
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nitya34 wrote:
Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey parrots, seem to exhibit cognitive functions typically associated with higher-order primates such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans. Some parrots, for example, have vocabularies of hundreds of words that they can string together in a comprehensible syntax. This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate. One parrot, named Alex, has been known to ask to be petted or kissed and will exhibit aggression if the gesture offered is not the specific one requested.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion above?

A. Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues.
B. Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water.
C. Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense sadness.
D. Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food.
E. Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested.

SaraLotfy wrote:
Hello Mike, Would you please take a look at this question: it's becoming rather controversial. Thanks

I don't know the source, but my understanding is that the OA is (E).

The argument takes for granted that higher-order primates (chimpanzees, gorillas, and human) have higher cognitive function, including language. The argument asserts that many other animals, including parrots and possibly dogs & dolphins, also have the ability to use language to communicate. That phrase is key to understanding this question.

First of all, choices (B) & (D) add further examples of higher-order primates doing sophisticated thinking. No matter how sophisticated the thinking of higher-order primates, this tells us zilch about whether animals outside of the higher-order primates have any sophisticated abilities. These are irrelevant.

Choice (A) is deceptive. As you may know from outside sources, dolphins are pretty clever. If this had been an example of dolphins doing something very sophisticated, then that could be a strengthener. As it happens, many many animals (even insects!!) can be trained to do things. It's not at all clear whether being trained to assist in ocean rescues would involve very sophisticated skills or tremendously easy things to do (e.g. tow someone or something to the surface). Because the nature of this activity is not clear, we cannot say this is a clear strengthener, so it cannot be correct.

Choice (C) is about emotions. The abilities to feel emotions and to sense emotions in others are not cognitive abilities at all. Yes, the ability to talk about emotions, or write poetry evoking emotions, or something such as that --- those involve cognitive skills, but simply feeling emotions or sensing emotions is not cognitive at all. That's why (C) is irrelevant.

This only leave (E). Think if this were false. If the parrot Alex were always aggressive, then the aggression would have nothing to do with what he said in words, and this would destroy the only solid piece of evidence in the argument. The only way Alex's aggression to an unrequested gesture would make sense as a piece of evidence would be if he show no aggression to a requested gesture. Therefore, (E) is a clear strengthener --- it reinforces one assumption of the argument.

Overall, this is a good question, although it may demand an awfully sophisticated understanding of either psychology or cognitive science --- a little more background than the GMAT would typically expect.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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26 Feb 2014, 08:56
IanStewart wrote:
E will certainly strengthen the conclusion. The stem tells us that Alex becomes aggressive if a requested gesture is not proffered. Taken on its own, this is evidence of nothing - maybe Alex always becomes aggressive after requesting a gesture, regardless of whether it's offered or not. From Alex's aggression alone, we don't know whether Alex truly understands the meaning of his communication; Alex might have no more understanding of language than an mp3 player (an aggressive one!). If E could be proven, that would provide evidence that Alex understands the meaning of his communication, and can associate his communication with the response it receives.

Answers A, C and D have a much more tenuous relationship with the conclusion of the passage, which is about learning language, and not about learning other tasks, and D is especially irrelevant because chimpanzees are specifically excluded from the group of animals the author is discussing. Answer B only confirms what the passage tells us: gorillas are capable of using some form of language.

Hi Sir

I have a doubt here.....how does agression related to the conclusion which says that "This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate "....agression no where deals with the conclusion...so its difficult for me to relate with E...Please help
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26 Feb 2014, 11:36
AnmolKukreja wrote:
Hi Sir

I have a doubt here.....how does agression related to the conclusion which says that "This clearly shows that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate "....agression no where deals with the conclusion...so its difficult for me to relate with E...Please help

Dear AnmolKukreja,
I'll add my two cents here.

Context is everything in GMAT CR & RC. It's perfectly true that aggression or the lack of it, by itself, tells us zilch about language. Animals that have absolutely no connection with language, such as lizards and squid, still can be aggressive. What matters here, and what always matters, is the context. Here's the relevant sentence.

One parrot, named Alex, has been known to ask to be petted or kissed and will exhibit aggression if the gesture offered is not the specific one requested.

So, the parrot uses language to make a request, and then, if that specific request, the request specified in the parrot's spoken language, is not given, then the parrot becomes aggressive. Well, the cynic could object, maybe the parrot is aggressive all the time. That's why (E) is such a powerful strengthener. If the parrot speaks a request, with language, and gets exactly what he asked for, then he is not aggressive. He is only aggressive when what he asked for, in language, doesn't match what he receives. This demonstrates that he understands language, because in order to respond in this differentiated way, he would have to understand the content of what he requested verbally.

Does this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2014, 03:17
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Straight E for me.

Conclusion: ...that humans and primates are not the only animals capable of using language to communicate.

A. Dolphins can be trained to assist divers in ocean rescues.
Dolphins can be trained alright, but there is no mention of their ability to use language, remember we MAY have outside knowledge that dolphins do communicate using some sort of language in training, but this info we cannot bring in to this CR... hence not enough to strengthen the argument by itself.
B. Gorillas in captivity often learn hand signals for food and water.
Gorillas are primates, and we are not interested in humans and primates - incorrect
C. Dogs are capable of sensing their owners' moods and often exhibit concern if they sense sadness.
There is no language involved in this answer, plus to strengthen the above argument, something has to link dogs made some sort of language communication which is missing here, hence incorrect.
D. Chimpanzees can memorize long sequences of key punches on machines that dispense food.
Same as B, chimps are primates hence this answer is irrelevant.
E. Alex does not exhibit aggression when offered a gesture that he specifically requested.
This completes the info given in the question stem and proves that Alex indeed communicated using language first and further reacted with no aggression when given what it needed. Hence correct
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Re: Some animals, such as dolphins, dogs, and African grey [#permalink]

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