GRE Argument Essay 185
One kind of brain-scanning device is used by doctors to monitor normal as well as abnormal activity in a patient’s brain. The device provides precise measurements of blood flow in the brain, a known indicator of how the brain is working. Unfortunately, the device requires patients to remain completely still with their heads in the scanning machine, which makes a very loud noise. Under these uncomfortable conditions, it is doubtful that doctors can get accurate measurements. A new head-mounted device that measures eye movements rather than blood flow and allows patients to move around will undoubtedly provide better brain measurements. Thus, the new head-mounted device should replace the older device at all hospitals and research institutions.
The writer of the argument given above is of the view that in all hospitals and research institutions the old device used to scan brains should be replaced with the new device. He is of the view that the old device may not give accurate measurements since it does not allow the patient to move during the scan and is also very noisy. He suggests that a head-mounted device that measures eye movements and also allows the patient to move would be more accurate. However, the writer of this argument does not make use of logic while giving his suggestion. He completely disapproves of the old device without going into the details of the method of scanning.
First of all, the writer disapproves of the older device because it requires the patient to remain still while the scan is in progress in order to record the measurements. The second reason that makes him say that it is uncomfortable is that the device makes a loud noise. However, he does not bother to find out the precautions used by the doctors while conducting the scan. It is likely that the doctors use all measures to make the patient comfortable and relaxed before they perform the scan. For example, in order to lower the noise made by the machine, the doctors could use some earmuffs or soundproof headgear so that the patient is not disturbed while their heads are in the scanning machine.
Similarly, there could be measures taken to make the patient still while scanning his brain activity. For example, in order to make the patient still, he could be made to lie down in a comfortable position. In case the patients are still not comfortable, or are very young to remain still, the doctors could use some sedatives in order to make them sleep for a short while so that the scan can be conducted without any body movement. In that case, the loud noise would also not bother the procedure of the scan. The writer does not make an effort to find out such solutions that can make the procedure of scanning with the older device comfortable and simply suggests using another device. However, this suggestion lacks logic since it may not be a perfect replacement.
He says that the new device that would measure the movements of the eye instead of blood flow would be a better replacement of the older device. However, the writer ignores that this new device could probably not record the brain activity as effectively as the older device. The movement of the eye may help in observing certain activities of the brain, but it may not be a complete scan. It is possible that this scan ignores many significant brain activities which can be recorded only by measuring the blood flow as is done by the older device. In other words, while the older device provides a comprehensive scan, the new device could only be helpful in scanning a part of the brain. Therefore, it might not solve the very purpose of scan completely.
The writer does not give enough evidence to prove that this new machine would give better results if the patient were allowed to move more freely. Moreover, he does not mention if this device makes any noise or not. That is why the reader is left doubting that this new machine would also be making a loud noise, which is uncomfortable for the patients. Therefore, the writer is unable to support his suggestion with logical reasoning.
The discussion given above proves that the writer is not able to prove that the new device would be better and more accurate than the older one. Thus, he must give it another thought and amend his argument to make it reasonable.