From: Steve Lehar (slehar@SHARP.bu.edu)
Subject: Re: The World In Your Head...
> I'm still waiting for my second review, but while we're waiting, could
> you let me know what you think of this reader's evaluation?
>> In a nutshell, it seems strikingly original, intriguing, and maybe
>> correct, but risky.
That evaluation is right on target!
>> From what I can gather from a literature search, and from the lack of
>> references to his own work, the author has only published a few
>> abstracts on this material, presumably papers or posters at meetings.
But this has not been due to any lack of trying. I have submitted no fewer than 12 papers to peer-reviewed journals over the last 5 years, so far only one has been accepted for publication in an obscure journal (Gestalt Theory). However these rejections have all been unjustified. You can read the original papers, the reviewers' critiques of them, and my rebuttals to all of their critiques on my web site.
You might consider asking your reviewer to pass judgement on some of that material on the web site. However I think I am getting close to publication now with one of my most radical papers, which is very similar to the message of the book. You can read that paper, and the first round of reviewer's comments (and my responses) at...
I have reason to believe that this paper will eventually be accepted, but that may take another couple of years!
The problem is that what I am proposing is not a minor variation in a theory, but a whole new paradigm that challenges some of the foundational assumptions of contemporary psychology and neuroscience that everyone else just takes for granted. The evidence for this new view comes from a wide diversity of sources, all of which point to the same solution. And therein lies the problem, because journal articles must be restricted to narrow specialties. Every one of my submitted papers is also "strikingly original, intriguing, and maybe correct, but risky", and some of my more enlightened reviewers have recognized as much. The problem is that journal editors have no incentive to risk the reputation of their journal for an idea of which they see only a small part. If you take all my papers together, the evidence for this alternative view is overwhelming. But the reviewers only see one piece at a time, so it gets rejected piecemeal. That is why I have to present the idea in a book form, where I can present the whole case in one package. I'm telling you, this stuff is cast-iron solid, and will turn the world of neuroscience on its head, once I get a chance to be heard.
However as is the case with all paradigmatic debates, those who have committed their entire careers to the older paradigm will be the last to accept the new one. So I won't be the least surprised if your second reviewer comes back with an emphatically negative review. You will find many such reviewes on my web site. But you will also find that I have good answers to all of their objections, if only I am given the chance to be heard.