新托福考试阅读练习资料:Brain scientists discover why adventure feels good

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编辑点评: 新托福阅读的确有一定难度,大家在平时的复习中,要多做真题练习,积累词汇和句型以及做题的感觉,并且要在对过答案以后对错题进行分析,得出自己错在哪里,避免下次再犯。

这里为大家准备的托福阅读材料,为大家讲讲“为什么我们人类会喜爱冒险”的原因。

Scientists have identified a primitive area of the brain that makes us adventurous -- a finding which may help explain why people routinely fall for "new" products when shopping.

Using brain scans to measure blood flow, British researchers discovered that a brain region known as the ventral striatum was more active when subjects chose unusual objects in controlled tests.

The ventral striatum is involved in processing rewards in the brain through the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine.

Scientists believe the existence of this age-old reward mechanism indicates there is an evolutionary advantage in sampling the unknown.

"Seeking new and unfamiliar experiences is a fundamental behavioral tendency in humans and animals. It makes sense to try new options as they may prove advantageous in the long run," said Bianca Wittmann of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London.

Being daring, however, also carries risks. Some choices could be dangerous and, in the modern world, selecting the new may, for instance, make consumers susceptible to marketing hype.

The positive feedback system in the brain could also contribute to some common vices.

"In humans, increased novelty-seeking may play a role in gambling and drug addiction, both of which are mediated by malfunctions in dopamine release," said Nathaniel Daw, now at New York University, who also worked on the study.

The findings were published online in the journal Neuron.

科学家发现,大脑内有一个原始的区域能使我们爱上冒险——这项发现也许可以解释,为什么购物时人们总是喜欢买“新”产品。

英国研究人员用脑部扫描仪测量受试者的血流后发现,当人们在受控测试中选择了不同寻常的物品时,脑部的腹侧纹状体变得更加活跃了。

腹侧纹状体通过释放神经传递素,例如多巴胺,来完成大脑区域中奖励认知功能。

科学家认为,脑部这种古老的奖励机制在尝试未知事物方面有进化优势。

“寻找新的、陌生的经验是人类和动物的一种基本行为趋势。因为尝试新东西在长远来看是有优势的,这种行为是有意义的,” 位于伦敦大学学院的维康基金会神经造影中心的比安卡•威特曼说。

然而,行为勇敢也是有风险的。有些选择是危险的,比如,在现代社会,人们可能因为喜欢新产品而对商家设置的陷阱缺乏防备。

脑部的积极反馈机制也会让人们沾染上某些不良的行为习惯。

“在人类社会,寻求新奇事物可能导致赌博和吸毒成瘾,这两种行为可以通过使多巴胺分泌失调的方式得以缓解,” 纽约大学的纳撒尼尔•多说。他曾经参与此项研究。

这份研究报告发表在《神经元》网络杂志上。

总之,对于托福考试阅读的准备并非一朝一夕之事,需要同学们付诸行动,提高托福阅读成绩指日可待 。

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