Term for eyeless sight or ‘‘skin vision’’ used by parapsychologists
in Russia. Among the more famous individuals demonstrating
this faculty were Rosa Kuleshova (1955–78) and
Tania Bykovskaia. Kuleshova was only five years old when the
first newspaper coverage of her abilities appeared. She was
later tested by the Nizhne-Tagil Pedagogical Institiute, which
found her abilities unusual but not paranormal. Bykovskaia was
tested by a commission from Kuban Medical Institute in Krasnodar,
which reported on her ability to distinguish the colors
of two balls hidden from sight.
In 1965 at the Scientific Conference of the Ural Division of
the Society of Psychologists in Perm, Dr. S. N. Dobronravov of
Sverdlovsk stated that some 72 percent of children had skin
sight potential, especially between the ages of seven and twelve
years. Dr. Abram Novomeisky of the psychology laboratory at
the Nizhne-Tagil Institute experimented with Vasily B., a metallurgist
who had been totally blind for seven years, and found
that Vasily could distinguish colors by touch and at a distance.
As with other subjects, the ability diminished in the diminution
or absence of light. Experiments suggested that bright electric
light enhanced the faculty of eyeless sight. Another frequently
reported observation was that different colors had specific sensations
that aided identification. For example, red seemed to
burn, orange to warm, yellow less so, green was neutral, light
blue cooling, navy blue freezing. Other subjects reported that
red had a sticky sensation and blue felt smooth. (See also
Dermo-Optical Perception; Eyeless Sight; Jules Romains;
Seeing with the Stomach; Transposition of the Senses)
Ostrander, Sheila, and Lynn Schroeder. Psychic Discoveries
behind the Iron Curtain. 1970. Reprint, New York Bantam
Books, 1971.