Lehar, Steve. The World In Your Head: A Gestalt View of the Mechanism of Conscious Experience. L. Erlbaum, 2003.

Lehar (Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston) experienced an incident in which he grasped a fundamental distinction between the image of the world around him, i.e. his perception, and the world itself; between the mental image of his world as revealed in his visual cortex and the world that stimulated that image. Originally advanced by Kant and Russell and elaborated by Gestalt theorists as a fundamental criticism of stimulus-response theory, this distinction is also described as the difference between indirect versus direct realism; analog versus digital, sequential logic; perceptual versus neural processes. This distinction highlights the importance of introspection (long rejected as too subjective) as an essential form of scientific inquiry, and the recognition that neural network theory is "hopelessly implausible." As an alternative, Lehar advocates harmonic resonance—i.e., the phenomenon of "spatial structure expressed as patterns of standing waves in a resonating system"—which has relevance to motor control, mental imagery, language, scientific endeavor, aesthetics, spirituality, and mystical experience. This powerful and inspiring book will fascinate those committed to psychological theory.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. — D. Sydiaha, emeritus, University of Saskatchewan.