Finding our way

IELTS Academic Reading Passage

A

“Drive 200 yards, and then turn right,” says the car’s computer voice. You relax in the driver’s seat, follow the directions and reach your destination without error. It’s certainly nice to have the Global Positioning System (GPS) to direct you to within a few yards of your goal. Yet if the satellite service’s digital maps become even slightly outdated, you can become lost. Then you have to rely on the ancient human skill of navigating in three- dimensional space. Luckily, your biological finder has an important advantage over GPS: it does not go awry if only one part of the guidance system goes wrong, because it works in various ways. You can ask questions of people on the sidewalk. Or follow a street that looks familiar. Or rely on a navigational rubric: “If I keep the East River on my left, I will eventually cross 34th Street.” 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.

B

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. And 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. Grand Central, Please Imagine that you have arrived in a place you have never visited-New York City. You get off the train at Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan. You have a few hours to explore before you must return for your ride You head uptown to see popular spots you have been told about: Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You meander in and out of shops along the way. Suddenly, it is time to get back to the station. But how?

C

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.

D

Another city dweller might say: “What places do you remember passing? … Okay. 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 you recall, and you aim for it. Once there you head for the next notable 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 Cataglyphis employ this method to return from foraging as far as 100 yards away. They note the general direction they came from and retrace then 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 a totally different spot, the insect stubbornly proceeds in the originally determined direction 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.

Questions 28-32

Summary

Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using no more than three words from the Reading Passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.

Having been preserved well in Europe and central Asia, the remains of the Irish elk was initially found approximately _______28____. Around _____29______, they were driven to live in the plain after being restricted to the Ural Mountains. Hunting was considered as one of the important factors of Irish elk’s extinction, people have not started hunting until______30______ when Irish elk used to get through under a variety of climatic fluctuations.

The huge antlers may possibly contribute to the reason why Irish elk extinct, which was highly controversial as they live pleasantly over the span of ____31_____. Generally, it is well-known that, at the last maximum ice age, mammals become extinct about ______32_____.

Questions 33-35

Answer the questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.

33. What kind of physical characteristics eventually contributed to the extinction of Irish elk?

34. What kind of nutrient substance needed in maintaining the huge size of Irish elk?

35. What geographical evidence suggested the advent of human resulted in the extinction of Irish elk?

Questions36-39

Matching choose the letter A-D and fill in box 36-39

A. Eurasia

B. Australia

C. Asia

D. Africa

36. the continents where humans imposed little impact on large mammals extinction

37.  the continents where the climatic change was mild and fauna remains

38.  the continents where both humans and climatic change are the causes

39.  the continents where the climatic change along caused a massive extinction

40. Which statement is true according the Stuart team’s finding?

A. Neanderthals rather than modem humans caused the extinction in Europe

B. Paleolithic humans in Europe along kill the big animals such as Giant deer

C. climatic change was not solely responsible for the mega fauna extinction in Europe

D. moderate and staggered extinction was mainly the result of fundamental climatic change

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