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  Section 11 Reading Comprehension

  (40 minutes)

  Part A


  Read the following three texts. Answer the questions on each text by choosing A, B, C or D. Mark your answers on the ANSWER SHEET by drawing a thick line across the corresponding letter in the brackets.

  Text I

  If you want to stay young, sit down and have a good think. This is the research finding of a team of Japanese doctors, who say that most of our brains are not getting enough exercise-and as a result, we are ageing unnecessarily soon.

  Professor Taiju Matsuzawa wanted to find out why otherwise healthy farmers in northern Japan appeared to be losing their ability to think and reason at a relatively early age, and how the process of ageing could be slowed down.

  With a team of colleagues at Tokyo National University, he set about measuring brain volumes of a thousand people of different ages and varying occupations.

  Computer technology enabled the researchers to obtain precise measurements of the volume of the front and side sections of the brain, which relate to intellect (智能 ) and emotion, and deter-mine the human character. ( The rear section of the brain, which controls functions like eating and breathing, does not contract with age, and one can continue living without intellectual or emotional faculties (功能).

  Contraction of front and side parts-as cells die off-was observed in some subjects in their thirties, but it was still not evident in some sixty-and-seventy-year-olds.

  Matsuzawa concluded from his tests that there is a simple remedy to the contraction normally associated with age-using the head.

  The findings show in general terms that contraction of the brain begins sooner in people in the country than in the towns. Those least at risk, says Matsuzawa, are lawyers, followed by university professors and doctors. White collar workers doing routine work in government offices are, however, as likely to have shrinking brains as the farm worker, bus driver and shop assistant.

  Matsuzawa's findings show that thinking can prevent the brain from shrinking. Blood must circulate properly in the head to supply the fresh oxygen the brain cells need. "The best way to maintain good blood circulation is through using the brain, " he says. "Think hard and engage in conversation. Don ' t rely on pocket calculators. "

  46. The team of doctors wanted to find out _________.

  [ A ] why certain people age sooner than others

  [ B ] how to make people live longer

  [ C ] the size of certain people ' s brains

  [ D ] which people are most intelligent

  47. On what are their research findings based?

  [A] A survey of farmers in northern Japan.

  [ B ] Tests performed on a thousand old people.

  [ C ] The study of brain volumes of different people.

  [ D] The latest development of computer technology.

  48. The doctor ' s tests show that _________.

  [ A ] our brains shrink as we grow older

  [B] the front section of the brain does not shrink

  [ C ] sixty-year-olds have better brains than thirty-year-olds

  [ D ] some people ' s brains have contracted more than other people ' s

  49. The word "subjects" in paragraph 5 means_________.

  [ A ] something to be considered

  [ B ] branches of knowledge studied

  [ C ] persons chosen to be studied in an experiment

  [ D ] any member of a state except the supreme ruler

  50. According to the passage, which people seem to age slower than the others?

  [A] Lawyers. [B] Farmers.

  [C] Clerks. [D] Shop assistants.

  Text 2

  Television has changed the lifestyle of people in every industrialized country in the world. In the United States, where sociologists have studied the effects, some interesting observations have been made.

  Television, although not essential, has become an important part of most people' s lives. It alters people' s ways of seeing the world; in many ways, it supports arid sustains (维持) modern life.

  Television has become a baby-sitter, an introducer of conversations, the major transmitter of culture, a keeper of tradition. Yet when what can be seen on TV in one day is critically analyzed, it becomes evident that television is not a teacher but a sustainer; the poor quality of programming does not elevate (提高 ) people into greater understanding, but rather maintains and encourages the life as it exists.

  The primary reason for the lack of quality in American television is related to both the history of TV programming development and the economics of TV. Television in America began with the radio. Radio companies and their sponsors first experimented with television. Therefore, the close relationship which the advertisers had with radio programs became the system for American TV. Sponsors not only paid money for time within programs, but many actually produced the programs. Thus, in American society, television is primarily concerned with reflecting and attracting society rather than experimenting with new ideas. Advertisers want to attract the largest viewing audience possible. To do so requires that the programs be entertaining rather than educational, attractive rather than challenging.

  Television in America today remains, to a large extent, with the same organization and standards as it had thirty years ago. The hope for further development and true achievement toward improving society will require a change in the entire system.

  51. According to the author American television is poor in quality because _________.

  [ A ] advertisers are interested in experimenting with new ideas

  [ B] it is still at an early stage of development, compared with the radio

  [ C ] the programs have to be developed in the interests of the sponsors for economic reasons

  [ D] it is controlled by radio companies

  52. The second paragraph is mainly about_________.

  [ A ] TV as the sustainer of American life

  [ B ] TV as the major transmitter of culture

  [ C ] the educational effect of TV on society

  [ D ] the strong influence and the poor quality of American TV

  53. In the author' s view American TV should _________.

  [A] be critical but entertaining

  [ B] be creative and educational

  [ C ] change with the development of society

  [ D ] attract as many viewers as possible

  54. The author believes that television in the United States has become important to most people because _________.

  [A] it promotes family unity

  [ B] it helps them develop their speaking ability

  [ C] it attracts their life in many ways

  [ D] it challenges society

  55. The author ' s attitude towards American television is _________.

  [ A ] critical [ B ] praising

  [ C ] doubtful [ D ] sympathetic

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