SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 162: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 162

7. Though earlier anatomists had touched on the idea, Paul Broca was the first to ------- fully the modern notion that specific behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the human brain.

A. articulate
B. derogate
C. represent
D. refute
E. iterate

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "To articulate" means to express a concept. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Though earlier anatomists had touched on the idea, Paul Broca was the first to articulate fully the modern notion that specific behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the human brain." While earlier anatomists had touched on the idea that certain behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the brain, Paul Broca was the first to fully "articulate," or express, the concept.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "To derogate" means to belittle or to cause to seem inferior. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Though earlier anatomists had touched on the idea, Paul Broca was the first to derogate fully the modern notion that specific behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the human brain." Nothing in the sentence suggests that either the earlier anatomists or Paul Broca in any way derogated, or belittled, the idea that certain behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the brain.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "To represent" means to serve as a sign or symbol of something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Though earlier anatomists had touched on the idea, Paul Broca was the first to represent fully the modern notion that specific behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the human brain." The fact that earlier anatomists touched on the notion that certain behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the brain is not logically connected to the idea that Paul Broca represented, or was a symbol of, that notion.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "To refute" means to prove wrong. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Though earlier anatomists had touched on the idea, Paul Broca was the first to refute fully the modern notion that specific behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the human brain." Nothing in the sentence suggests that earlier anatomists had partially "refuted," or proved wrong, the idea that certain behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the brain, so it would not make sense to say that Paul Broca fully refuted the idea.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "To iterate" means to say or do something repeatedly. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Though earlier anatomists had touched on the idea, Paul Broca was the first to iterate fully the modern notion that specific behaviors are controlled by particular areas of the human brain." Although Paul Broca could have been the first to fully state the idea that specific areas of the human brain control specific behaviors, nothing in the sentence suggests that he stated this idea repeatedly.

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