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Unit109 THE BRAIN

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Unit Nine Text Th

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     Text           

                          
                         Throughout the ages different ideas have been ex- 

                             pressed about the workings of the human brain.  It is 

                            only recently, however,that seience has begun to give 

                            us some idea of how the brain really works.   

                                        
                               THE BRAIN        

            THE MOST POWERFUL COMPUTER IN THE UNIVERSE

               attachments/pe/Article/UploadFiles/200705/200752155821759.gif (19897 字节)    
         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  as   the   centre  of 

    mental activity. Aristotle the philosopher of  ancient  Greece  thought  that the

5  mind  was based  in  the heart. It  was not until  the l8th  century that  man  re-

    alised that  the whole of  the brain  was  involved in the workings of  the mind.

        During  the  l9th  century  scientists  found  that  when  certain parts of  the   

    brain  were  damaged  men  lost the  ability to do certain things. And so,  peo-

    ple thought  that  each  part of  the  brain controlled  a  different  activity . But 

10 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 complicated  than they had thought  In

15 fact many  people  believe  that  we  are only now  really starting  to  learn  the 

    truth  about  how the human b rain works.  The  more  scientists  find  out, the 

    more  questions   they  are  unable  to  answer.  For  instance,  chemists  have  

    found  that  over  100,000  chemical  reactions  take place  in  the  brain every 

    second. Mathematicians  who  have  tried  to use  computers to copy the way                    

20 the  brain  works  have  found  that even using the latest  electronic equipment   

    they  would  have  to  build  a  computer  which   weighde  over  10,000  kilos.   

    Some  recent research  also suggests that  we remember  everything  that  hap- 

    pens to us. We  may not  be able  to recall this information, but  it is all stored 

    in our brains.

25     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 done .Some  children

    learn to speak and read and write  when they are  very young compared to av-

30 erage  children. But  scientists are  not  sure  why this  happens. They are try- 

    ing to  find out whether there is something about the way  we  teach  language

    to children which in fact prevents children from learning 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

35 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  po-

40 tential. 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  warks and  how to make the best use of it.  We are

45 told to  make  notes but we are  not taught how our brains accept information 

    and which is the best way  to  organise  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 

50 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 correctness 确切地;精确地     

         exact a.     

    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/ a.                     difficult to understand, complex  难懂的;复杂的   

  chemical / a.                         of chemistry   

    unable a.                               not able   

    reaction / n.                           反应      

  mathematician/ n.                  one who studies and understands mathematics 

 	                                              数学家

  equipment / n.                      设备,装置  

  equip vt.

    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;物理的        

    potential/ n.                          潜力

  limit / n.                                局限,限度

                              
                            



    put ... to (good)                     use(in a profitable way)(好好)利用 

  differ from                              be dissimilar to ...不同

  compared to / with                  in comparison with ...相比

  make notes.                            take notes 记笔记    

  look into.                               examine 调查,观察 Phrases & Expressions
                            Proper Names    
   Aristotle /                        亚里士多德

   Greece /                          希腊


 
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