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Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions

Studies have shown that ultrasound waves can affect neural activity in the brain. Since current methods for brain stimulation require contact with sensitive tissue, technologies that can provide a controlled source of stimulation without direct contact with the brain are constantly sought after. Neuroscientists should research into the use of low frequency ultrasound transmission, such frequencies having the ability to penetrate the skull and engage neural stimulation without the risk of damage, as a previously unused non-invasive tool for combating psychiatric disorders.

In the argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?



Although this answer choice's first definition is right, its second definition is not. According to our breakdown, the second portion is a premise that supports the conclusion. It follows that the second boldface portion supports the author's aims (goals) and does not, as claimed by this answer choice, contradict them.



The first definition in this answer choice is correct - the first boldface portion does point out a negative aspect of a certain method, which requires contact with sensitive tissues. However, the second boldface, while quoting a positive aspect, does not refer to the same method, as suggested by this answer choice. It refers to ultrasound waves.



While this answer choice is correct with the first boldface portion, it is incorrect with the definition of the second. The second boldface portion is not a judgment, but actually a premise about ultrasound frequencies.



While this answer choice correctly identifies the first boldface portion, it is incorrect regarding the second. The current methods are described as inferior or problematic because they need to make contact with sensitive tissue. However, the current methods still manage to achieve their goal (brain stimulation) by doing so even if they carry undesirable side effects. Therefore, their effectiveness is not being called into question.



The first boldface portion is a drawback (disadvantageous) of the current methods - contact with sensitive tissue. The second boldface portion is the positive characteristic of ultrasound waves which allows avoiding such contact. This supports the conclusion that ultrasound waves should be researched.

The first is factual information that weakens a factor that the author aims to undermine; the second is evidence that directly supports the contradiction of those aims.
The first describes a disadvantageous circumstance; the second is support for the conclusion in the form of a characteristic with the potential to avoid such a circumstance.
The first presents a negative aspect of a method being challenged by the conclusion; the second is a positive characteristic inherent to that method.
The first is data that highlights the weakness of a certain procedure; the second is a judgment that opposes the use of that procedure. 
The first gives details of the requirements of the use of a certain method; the second is data that indirectly calls into question the ability of that method to achieve its goal.