The Perfume of Potential Mathematical Collaborative Ideas in Spatial Disorientation Research

Vivekanand Vimal
Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory
Brandeis University

The main objective of this talk is to showcase the wondrous, breathtaking and mysterious world of spatial disorientation research and then hopefully entice…maybe seduce…some of you to collaborate within the fertile intersectional estuary of mathematics and spatial disorientation. Therefore my talk will not be math heavy but rather a place where I propose potential mathematical collaborative ideas. I will begin by describing how I create a spaceflight analog condition in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab and then I will share my data and findings. Next, I will explain how angular path integration is relevant to my work and also share some examples from animal literature. Along the way, I will briefly talk about vestibular mathematical models and how they cannot capture some of the unusual and mindblowing behavior in my dataset. Then, I will show an interesting pattern of positional drifting that participants exhibit when they are disoriented and I will discuss how I think it relates to homeostasis, attractor points and phase transitions. After that, I will talk about my current research on human augmentation using vibrotactile feedback and some Bayesian ideas behind that. I will finish by sharing how mathematical juices may be able to permeate beyond science into the vastness of educational outreach, art, ceremony and partying.