Helping the color blind see their missing colors

Richard Kerr kerrr at CRYPTIC.RCH.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Wed Jun 12 23:07:26 EST 1996

>Nevin J. Miller, III is an intereting case.  He says he is color blind.  
>I would agree with him, but he is *different*.  His color blindness is
>not a simple red-green or blue-yellow case.  The color that he has
>the most difficult with is purple.  He confuses or mixes red-blue and 
>yellow-green.  His special circumstance has lead to an interesting result.
>As you know the opponent-process model says the stimulation by one color
>inhibits another.  The special correlational nature of the stimulation is
>sent to the back top of the visual cortex for processing into color 
>perception.  The correlationald opponent-processing model using wavelets 
>suggested to me that it was possible in principle to see colors you were
>missing if you were color blind.
>When the opportunity arose, I showed Nevin Miller the subjective color
>illusion.  By rotating a black and white disk in florescent lightand timing
>the speed carefully one can see colors.  For the first time in Nevin's life
>he reported seeing a color that he has never seen before.  It was to me
>a bright blue-purple.
>Nevin has reported a willness to be a subject.  I suspect that by using
>positron emission tomography that his report of purple stimulation will
>be identical to controls.  Nevin lives in the Allentown, Pennsylvania
>area.  Are you interested in doing the research?
>Ron Blue  rcb1 at

I can't offer to do the research (the commute would kill me ) but I found
this to be a really interesting post. How has the subjects
'colour-blindness' been assessed ? The tests that I am familiar with only
test red-green and blue-yellow. Would you explain the details of the black
and white disc approach.  I think that its quite fascinating.


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