Helping the color blind see their missing colors

STEVE MADISON g5300013 at
Thu Jun 13 17:09:45 EST 1996

In article <Pine.3.89.9606121158.B14863-0100000 at>, rcb1 at LEX.LCCC.EDU (Ron Blue) writes:
> 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.

How *different* is NJM III?  I too am colour blind but not in the most common 
red-green or blue-yellow.  I cannot see purple or green.  Purple appears as 
blue and green as brown.  Is this rather uncommon?  

> 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.

What did NJM III mean by never before seeing this colour?  There are many times 
that I cannot identify a colour, particularly when they are darker shades.  A 
"novel" colour may appear to me as dark blue/black/red/brown.  Meaning that you 
could tell me it was either of these and I would have to believe you.  Lighter 
shades of these same colours do not appear to be a problem.  Often I 
would have to say I had never seen these colours before.  How else could I 
explain my inability to distinguish these colours?  Unless I have some kind of 
very selective colour agnosia.  Wouldn't that be a kick?  What about NJM III?  
If you showed him the same colour illusion again does he remember it as purple-
Anyways I was just curious.

> 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

Steve Madison
Neuromuscular Research
Laurentian University

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