Kuleshova, Rosa (1955-1978)

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Kuleshova, Rosa (1955-1978)

Russian psychic who demonstrated the ability to "read" printed words with the fingers of her right hand when her normal vision was completely obstructed, an ability usually termed dermo-optical perception or eyeless sight. She could also determine color tones on paper and objects by touch. Experiments with Kuleshova were reported in 1963 by Soviet scientist I. M. Gol'dberg. Kuleshova was a relatively unimportant individual in her hometown of Nizhniy Tagil in the Urals, but after news of her remarkable abilities spread through the scientific world in the USSR she was invited to Moscow to undergo experiments at the Biophysics Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. There Kuleshova demonstrated her abilities to scientists, and it seems likely that the attention and excitement went to her head.

She found it difficult to adjust to ordinary life back in Tagil and insisted on returning to Moscow for further experiments. She made wild claims that she often failed to fulfill and was even caught cheating. After this led to skepticism about "skin vision," further scientific tests were undertaken with precautions against fraud, and these validated Kuleshova's basic abilities. In 1964 Life reporter Bob Brigham saw Kuleshova in Moscow and stated that she was able to read the small print on his business card accurately with her elbow when her normal vision was entirely obstructed. Soon other Soviet subjects were discovered to have the ability of eyeless sight, and new programs of scientific investigation were undertaken. The faculty of "skin vision" was renamed "bio-introscopy" in the Soviet Union.

Rosa Kuleshova died in 1978 from a brain tumor. Reports of her successful demonstrations of eyeless sight in the editorial offices of the Moscow journal Technika Mologeji shortly before her death were reported in The International Journal of Paraphysics (vol. 13, nos. 3, 4).

(See also Jules Romains ; Seeing with the Stomach ; Transposition of the Senses ; USSR )


Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Gol'dberg, I. M. "On Whether Tactile Sensitivity Can Be Improved by Exercise." Soviet Psychology and Psychiatry 2, no. 1 (1963).

Ostrander, Sheila, and Lynn Schroeder. Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970. Reprint, New York: Bantam Books, 1971.