Dr. Steve Lehar
The Schepens Eye Research Institute
20 Staniford St.
Boston MA 02114-2500
Re: Cognitive Psychology 99-060R
November 2, 2000
Dear Dr. Lehar:
I'm enclosing two reviews of "Computational Implications of Gestalt Theory". As you'll see, both find much to admire in the manuscript but, in the end, neither considers it to be appropriate for publication in Cognitive Psychology.
Following my independent reading of the manuscript, I must agree, and conclude that I can't accept the manuscript for Cognitive Psychology. This actually was not an easy decision for me. I have to admit that I am swayed (probably overly swayed) by good clear writing and, as was noted by Reviewer A, your writing in this manuscript was exemplary. It was a pleasure to be able to pretty much understand this quite technical material on the first pass.
I am fortunate in that the reviewers have been quite complete in their evaluations of the manuscript. I won't rehash the criticisms that the reviewers issue, as they pretty much speak for themselves. I should say that the reviewers, unlike me, have a great deal of expertise in the subject matter of your manuscript. While I could, as I indicated follow your logic pretty well, I wasn't really in a position to evaluate the bases of your theory from the perspective of how it fits into the literature. But both reviewers, alas, conclude that the fit is wanting.
I recall that in the first action letter that I emailed you last May, I expressed concern that the original manuscripts had too narrow a focus to be suitable for publication in Cognitive Psychology. While I believe that the comprehensibility of the present manuscript is vastly improved over the previos ones, I continue to feel that the focus is too narrow. At this point, I'd recommend that you digest the reviewers comments and then send a revision to a more specialized journal.
I'm sorry that this submission has not worked out with Cognitive Psychology (and I'm particularly sorry given the editorial snafus that plagued the first incarnation of it). However, I did enjoy reading it, and I very much hope that you'll continue to consider Cognitive Psychology as an outlet for your work.
Geoffrey R. Loftus Associate Editor