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Wolfgang Köhler

1887 - 1967

Psychologist Wolfgang Köhler's experiments with birds and primates contributed to the development of Gestalt psychology. Köaut;hler came to believe in the isomorphism of perceptual events and the electrochemical processes occurring in the brain: the physical makeup of our brains and our perceptions of the world conform to a pattern--a Gestalt--that permits us to understand and relate to the outside world. Köhler suggests that learning in both humans and animals involves a recognition of the pattern of relationships that make up the problem or situation at hand--he calls this the ah ha experience (Aha-Erlebnis in German). Lacan makes reference to Köhler's research to support his own theory of the role of the imago, which functions for Lacan in ways similar to the gestalt of Köhler and his associates.