Reviewer 2 Comments

I have read over the Lehar paper with great interest. It is, among other things, a reprise of gestalt psychology and a very welcome one. There have been a variety of recent papers demonstrating a renewed interest in the issues the gestaltists raise but they tend to address the field in bits and pieces. This manuscript summarizes a large set of the questions addressed by the gestaltists. It presents them in a lucid and organized manner replete with a beginning attempt at a computational theory of their origin.

As many investigators of the relation of perception to neuronal processing have been realizing, the gap between the two has not been narrowing. Lehar calls this the failure of the neuron doctrine as applied to perception. I am inclined to think that he is correct. His alternative is to theorize directly about the structure of perception as did the gestalt psychologists. He justifies this approach with an epistemological claim that I find difficult to accept but that does not detract from the substance of his thesis. I suspect that the provocativeness of the manuscript would excite a lot of comment and lead to productive interaction. I would be pleased to see it in print.