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From: jimb@orion.oac.uci.edu (Jim Barrera)
Subject: Re: Blind on lsd (?)
Message-ID: <2B5729D2.11825@news.service.uci.edu>
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Date: 15 Jan 93 21:17:06 GMT

Seer Snively  writes:
> If someone who is blind (because of a phyical problem with the eye, no 
> brain problems) or who is colour blind took lsd, would they "see" colour? 
>
> Does anyone think they would get visuals?  Does anyone KNOW (first or 2nd 
> hand)?

Hello.  My evil twin(tm) is a green-blind deuteranomal.
Due to the presence of an annoying little recessive gene 
on his X-chromosome, the spectral sensitivity of his 
middle cones peak at a different wavelength of light 
than a "normal" individual.  Thus, greens look different
to him, or not like "green" at all...

He enjoys both hiking in the wilderness and psychedelics,
especially simutaneously.  In the wilderness, it's often
useful to be able to spot red objects amidst all the 
green (e.g. reddish poison oak leaves in the green scrub 
oak).  He has found that LSD enhances his perception of 
colors, but does not greatly improve his differential
perception of green.  While his hiking companions are 
constantly pointing out red-tailed hawks, red manzanita
bark, or the poison oak he's currently standing in, he
still has problems picking them out of a green background.

So when the iodopsin in one or more of the sets of cones 
is abnormal, the signals being sent to the brain are
the same, with or without psychadelics.  How the brain 
on LSD recognizes these signals may be different, but he 
hasn't found that the green perception improves.

But he's continuing the therapy in hopes of improvement...

As far as *visuals* are concerned, he hasn't noticed any
really special greens that he doesn't see in real life.

But here's a question:  does this hypothetical individual 
who is colorblind (total achromat, which is rare) _dream_
in color?  Would he/she know if the dreams were in "color"?
Would he/she know if the hallucinations were in "color"?

`jimb

"LSD: not a cure, but good therapy for color blindness."