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大学英语精读第一册 Unit Nine:The Brain

时间:2005-04-20 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:鱼尾巴   字体: [ ]
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TEXT

Throughout the ages different ideas have been expressed about the working of the human brain. It is only recently, however, that science has begun to give us some idea of how the brain really works1.

The Brain
The Most Powerful
Computer in the Universe

Man still has a lot to learn about the most powerful and complex part of his body -- the brain.
In ancient times men did not think that the brain was the centre of mental activity. Aristotle the philosopher2 of ancient Greece thought that the mind was based in the heart. It was not until the 18th century that man realised that the whole of the brain was involved in the workings of the mind.
During the 19th century scientists found that when certain parts of the brain were damaged men lost the ability to do certain things. And so, people thought that each part of the brain controlled a different activity. But modern research has found that this is not so. It is not easy to say exactly what each part of the brain does.
In the past 50 years there has been a great increase in the amount of research being done on the brain. Chemists and biologists have found that the way the brain works is far more complicated3 that they had thought. In fact many people believe that we are only now really starting to learn the truth about how the human brain works. The more scientists find out, the more questions they are unable to answer. For instance4, chemists have found that over 100,000 chemical reactions take place in the brain every second. Mathematicians6 who have tried to use computers to copy the way the brain works have found that even using the latest electronic equipment they would have to build a computer which weighed over 10,000 kilos. Some recent research also suggests that we remember everything that happens to us. We may not be able to recall7 this information, but it is all stored in our brains.
Scientists hope that if we can discover how the brain works, the better use we will be able to put it to. For example, how do we learn language? Man differs most from all the other animals in his ability to learn and use language but we still do not know exactly how this is dine8. Some children learn to speak and read and write when they are very young compared to average children. But scientists are not sure why this happens. They are trying to find out whether there is something about the way we teach language to children which in fact prevents children from learning9 sooner.
Earlier scientists thought that during a man's lifetime the power of his brain decreased. But it is now thought that this is not so. As long as the brain is given plenty of exercise it keeps its power. It has been found that an old person who has always been mentally active has a quicker mind than a young person who has done only physical work. It is now thought that the more work we give our brains, the more work they are able to do.
Other people now believe that we use only 1% of our brains' full potential. They say that the only limit on the power of the brain is the limit of what we think is possible. This is probably because of the way we are taught as children. When we first start learning to use our minds we are told what to do, for example, to remember certain facts, but we are not taught how our memory works and how to make that best use of it. We are told to make noted10 hut we are not taught how our brains accept information and which is the best way to organise11 the information we want our brains to accept.
This century man has made many discoveries about the universe -- the world outside himself. But he has also started to look into the workings of that other universe which is inside himself -- the human brain.

NEW WORDS

computer
n. machine that stores information and works out answers 计算机
universe
n. 宇宙
complex
a. difficult to understand or explain 错综复杂的,难懂的
ancient
a. in or of times long ago 古代的;古老的
philosopher
n. 哲学家
philosophy
n. 哲学
involve
vt. cause to become connected or concerned 使卷入
working
n. (usu. pl.) operation; action 运转,运行,活动
ability
n. 能力
exactly
ad. with complete connected or concerned 确切地;精确地
amount       
n. 数量,数额
chemist
n. one who studies and understands chemistry 化学家
biologist
n. one who studies the life of animals and plants 生物学家
biology
n. 生物学
complicated
n. difficult to understand, complex 难懂的;复杂的
chemical
a. of chemistry
unable
a. not able
reaction   
n. 反应
mathematician5
n. one who studies and understands mathematics 数学家
equip        
n. 设备,装置
kilo = kilogram
公斤,千克
recent
a. done or made not long ago 近来的
recall
vt. remember 记得;回忆起
differ
vi. be different (from) 
mentally      
ad. 智力上,脑力上
physical
a. of the body; of matter; of the science of physics 身体的;物质的;物理学的
potential     
n. 潜力
limit       
n. 局限,限度

PHRASES & EXPRESSIONS

put...to (good) use
use (in a profitable) (好好)利用
differ from
be dissimilar to 与...不同
compared to / with
in comparison12 with 与...相比
make notes
take notes 记笔记
look into
examine 调查,观察


PROPER NAMES

Aristotle
亚里士多德
Greece     
  希腊


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 works ieuzIh     
n.作品,著作;工厂,活动部件,机件
参考例句:
  • We expect writers to produce more and better works.我们期望作家们写出更多更好的作品。
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
2 philosopher vN4xi     
n.哲学家,哲人
参考例句:
  • The philosopher has his ideas built on the rock of reason.那位哲学家把思想稳固地建立于理性之上。
  • What a philosopher seeks after is truth.一个哲学家所追求的是真理。
3 complicated 9vjzzD     
adj.错综复杂的,麻烦的,结构复杂的
参考例句:
  • The poem is so complicated that I cannot make out its meaning.这首诗太复杂,我理解不了它的意思。
  • This is the most complicated case I have ever handled.这是我所处理过的最为复杂的案子。
4 instance 66oxM     
n.例,例证,实例
参考例句:
  • Can you quote me a recent instance?你能给我举一个最近的例子吗?
  • He's a greedy boy,yesterday,for instance,he ate all our biscuits!他是个贪吃的孩子――比如,他昨天把我们的饼干都吃了!
5 mathematician aoPz2p     
n.数学家
参考例句:
  • The man with his back to the camera is a mathematician.背对着照相机的人是位数学家。
  • The mathematician analyzed his figures again.这位数学家再次分析研究了他的这些数字。
6 mathematicians bca28c194cb123ba0303d3afafc32cb4     
数学家( mathematician的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? 你以为我们的数学家做不到这一点吗? 来自英汉文学
  • Mathematicians can solve problems with two variables. 数学家们可以用两个变数来解决问题。 来自哲学部分
7 recall mtByJ     
n.回忆,召回,取消;vt.回想起,召回,与...相似,恢复
参考例句:
  • As you may recall, he was in the army then.你可能记得当时他正在从军。
  • We demand that you recall your army from our border.我们要求你们撤回在我们边境的部队。
8 dine Cusxs     
vi.吃饭,进餐;vt.宴请
参考例句:
  • I wish I could afford to dine off fresh meat every day.我要是能天天吃到新鲜的肉就好了。
  • Let's dine out tonight,I'm too tired to cook.我太累了,不想做饭,今晚咱们到外面吃吧。
9 learning wpSzFe     
n.学问,学识,学习;动词learn的现在分词
参考例句:
  • When you are learning to ride a bicycle,you often fall off.初学骑自行车时,常会从车上掉下来。
  • Learning languages isn't just a matter of remembering words.学习语言不仅仅是记些单词的事。
10 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
11 organise organise     
vt.组织,安排,筹办
参考例句:
  • He has the ability to organise.他很有组织才能。
  • It's my job to organise all the ceremonial events.由我来组织所有的仪式。
12 comparison TqEzY     
n.比较,对照;比拟,比喻
参考例句:
  • They make a comparison of New York to a beehive.他们把纽约比作一个蜂巢。
  • This dress is really cheaper by comparison.比较起来,这件衣服确实便宜。
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