From: Steve Lehar (
Subject: Re: The World In Your Head...


I am very encouraged to see that Reviewer #2 also recognizes the significance and novelty of the ideas in the book, and uses words like "bold", "forceful", and says that the manuscript is "a positive contribution to science and an advancement of knowledge" I could hardly believe my good fortune in having two reviewers who both see the merits of the book!

Reviewer #2 does have some criticism however, his chief complaint being that the manuscript is poorly written, argumentative, and disparaging of earlier work. He states that these characteristics should be purged from the manuscript before it is published.

I must admit that I am not the greatest writer stylistically. I find writing to be arduous work, and it always takes me much longer than I think it should. I also have a tendency towards being argumentative and critical of certain other work. But this is exactly what brought me to write this book in the first place! The principal message of the book is a critical and argumentative one that suggest that contemporary neuroscience and psychology have become diverted into a paradigmatic dead-end, much like the state of psychology during the heyday of the Behaviorist movement. This criticism will naturally seem harsh to those who are currently active in neuroscience and psychology, because I am in effect arguing that their own work is probably misguided and possibly invalid, a message that nobody wants to hear. I believe that in retrospect after the current paradigm has been overthrown, its fundamental limitations will become clear to one and all. Nevertheless I have tried very hard to remove statements which are excessively argumentative and disparaging of other work, and I would be happy to consider any specific changes that might be suggested. However I am not sure I am capable of "rewriting" the whole book (!!!) as this reviewer suggests, since a substantial re-writing would probably take a year of work, and the result would probably be just as unsatisfactory to this reviewer because it will again be written my me! From my point of view I do not see a need for a substantial re-write, although I am open to specific suggestions for specific changes. This reviewer said he had marked up the preface with specific suggestions, maybe you might want to forward me a copy of it?

Specific Points:

"There are also scientific and logical problems. For one, the manuscript derides reductionism. Yet the harmonic resonance model is a reductionist model. Isn't this a contradiction?"

In the first place I have no criticism of reductionism per se. It is a methodology which has served science very well over the last several centuries, and I do not propose to abandon it. Instead, I have identified an alternative and complementary form of logic in perception, that operates on an "expansionist" principle, and serves different but complementary purposes than does reductionist analysis. The phenomenon of Harmonic Resonance exhibits both reductionist and expansionist characters, and thereby clarifies the principle of this alternative form of spatial computation, and how it relates to reductionism. These issues are elaborated in Chapter 4 (section: "Reductionist v.s. Expansionist Analysis") and also in chapter 6, chapters which this reviewer did not have available for review.

"Also, the scientific value of this presentation can be enhanced by illustrating how the model accounts for previously unaccounted for phenomena. It is not sufficient to say that a computer rendition of the model can account for something. The manuscript must somehow prove that this can be done. Otherwise the argument is too vague, too remote from possible testing and challenge, to be considered an element of a scientific presentation. To be scientific the manuscript must act scientific."

Again the reviewer did not see the whole book, but only chapters 1 and 8. Much of the work that addresses previously unaccounted for phenomena are to be found in the "perceptual modeling" chapters, i.e. chapters 4 through 6. Chapter 8 is something of an anomaly, since the rest of the book is expressed in perceptual modeling terms, independent of any particular neurophysiological hypothesis, whereas chapter 8 presents a neurophysiological hypothesis. The evidence for why a harmonic resonance theory is required in the first place is largely to be found in the chapters this reviewer did not have available, i.e. chapter 3 on Gestalt phenomena, and then chapters 4 through 6 on perceptual modeling.

"There are loose sentences and thoughts. For example, with reference to Information Theory (p. 76) ... This rendition of what Information Theory is, is several orders of understanding removed from the actual theory."

I would be surprised if there were NOT loose sentences and thoughts in a work of this length. However the example the reviewer picks out is not one of them. My statement that information theory "is the theory of how information can be compressed for example in digital communications in order to minimize the amount of data that must be sent along a transmission line." is in my view an accurate and succinct statement of the theory, or at least the aspect of information theory which is pertinent to perception.

In conclusion, I am delighted that this reviewer understands the larger significance of this book, I am sorry he does not find the writing style to his taste, but I myself do not see the need for a substantial re-write, nor do I feel confident in my ability to re-write it to this reviewer's complete satisfaction, since I see nothing wrong with it in its present form. I will nevertheless be happy to consider specific suggestions for changes in the text.


Steve Lehar