SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 2 - reading 5

Questions 1-11 are based on the following

Passage 1 is excerpted from Linden Miles, "The Meandering Mind: Vection and Mental Time Travel," ©2010 by Linden Miles. Passage 2 is excerpted from Justin Gregg, "A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence," ©2013 by Scientific American.

Passage 1

The ability to travel mentally through time sets humans

apart from many other species, yet little is known about

this core cognitive capacity. In particular, what shapes the
passage of the mind's journey through time?
5 A core facet of conscious experience is that one's mind

periodically wanders from the here-and-now. From

memories of lost loves to expectations about forthcoming

vacations, mental time travel (MTT) makes it possible to

revisit the past and pre-experience the future. Present
10 across cultures and emerging early in childhood, MTT is

believed to serve a pivotal function in human cognition.

When confronted with complex and challenging

judgments, simulating future outcomes (i.e., prospection)

on the basis of prior experience (i.e., retrospection) is a
15 tactic that optimizes decision-making and behavioral

selection. That the past informs the future in this way (i.e.,

recollection-guides-simulation) is evidenced from research

demonstrating that retrospection and prospection rely on

largely overlapping neural structures and cognitive
20 operations.
However, remarkably little is known about the actual

process of MTT and how it impacts people's behavior. In

this respect, one emerging possibility is that MTT may be

represented in the sensory-motor systems that regulate
25 human movement (i.e., MTT is embodied). Put simply,

traveling mentally in time may initiate associated bodily

movements through space. Initial evidence for such a

thought-action coupling during MTT was reported in a

study in which spontaneous fluctuations in the direction
30 and magnitude of postural sway were assessed while

participants engaged in either retrospective or prospective

mental imagery. The results revealed that the temporal

locus of MTT did indeed influence the direction of people's

movements — whereas retrospection was accompanied by
35 significant backwards sway, prospection yielded postural

movement in an anterior direction.

Passage 2

Santino was a misanthrope with a habit of pelting

tourists with rocks. As his reputation for mischief grew, he

had to devise increasingly clever ways to ambush his wary
victims. Santino learned to stash his rocks just out of sight
41 and casually stand just a few feet from them in order to

throw off suspicion. At the very moment that passersby

were fooled into thinking that he meant them no harm, he

grabbed his hidden projectiles and launched his attack.
Santino, you see, is not human. He’s a chimpanzee at
46 Furuvik Zoo in Sweden. His crafty stone-throwing

escapades have made him a global celebrity, and also

caught the attention of researchers studying how animals,

much like humans, might be able to plan their behavior.
Santino is one of a handful of animals that scientists
51 believe are showing a complex cognitive ability called

episodic memory. Episodic memory is the ability to recall

past events that one has the sense of having personally

experienced. Unlike semantic memory, which involves

recalling simple facts like “bee stings hurt,” episodic
56 memory involves putting yourself at the heart of the

memory; like remembering the time you swatted at a bee

with a rolled up newspaper and it got angry and stung your

If an animal can imagine itself interacting with the
61 world in the past via episodic memory – like Santino

recalling a failed attack when a human spotted him holding

a rock, or you remembering swatting at a bee – it stands to

reason that the animal might also be able to imagine itself

in the future in a similar scenario, and thus plan its
66 behavior. Santino might opt to hide his rocks, and you

might decide to stop antagonizing bees. The ability to

represent oneself and one’s actions in the mind’s eye – both

in the past [and] in the future – is what scientists refer to as

“mental time travel.”

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Question 1 Over the course of passage 1, the main focus shifts from