Relational biohacking?

Hi all, I’m excited to find this forum. I’ll try to keep this brief
but I have a very complex ask.

Headline: Looking for someone to play around with GVS with me, but build trust first.

I’ve been totally blind since birth, due to a retinal condition. I’m also most likely autistic and have severe spatial issues that go above and beyond blindness. My nervous system is seeking out visual input that it’s not getting, and though it could be overstimulating at times, I’ve had very powerful experiences on marijuana where i was able to create a multisensory picture of my environment, including picking up on visual details like color, and recognizing objects by sight alone. I’m an amateur cognitive neuroscientist, and the best explanation my friends and I have come up with so far is that I’ve trained my dorsal visual stream to do object recognition in an affordance-based way (happy to elaborate on all the nerdiness).

Marijuana is not a practical solution to my problem, for many reasons, but I had the opportunity to try GVS (galvanic vestibular stimulation) in an informal way, and I think that with some tweaking (e.g. programming the pulse trains properly) i could use vestibular stimulation to give me a lot of the same spatial information that the marijuana did, and get better at multisensory integration. My brain wants to turn anything it can into phenomenally visual experiences, and this increases as the spatial resolution of information increases.

What I need: Someone in the DC area with some basic knowledge of how to program a GVS device to do what we want it to do, or the time, curiosity, and motivation to figure it out. I think my discovery could have benefits that extend way beyond me, so this could be a really cool opportunity for collaboration.

Why this is complicated: Seeing things for the first time is obviously an emotionally laden experience for me, as is failing at seeing things, or failing to articulate what I see. i can’t work on this project with someone who i also don’t share a warm and safe emotional connection, or even a friendship. Developing the relationship and a shared sense of trust/mutuality/playfullness would have to come before any of the GVS stuff, I think.

Who I am as a person: I’m an ADHD coach. I’m 37 and queer. I love annoying my cat, crocheting, kayaking and other outdoorsy things, swimming, tandem biking, plays, writing folk songs (though I can’t sing), nerding out about mental health and Bayesian theory, laughing, and processing the sh*t out of everything.

if any of this sounds intriguing to you, let me know. If you are not local, it might be more challenging, but that shouldn’t stop you from reaching out.,


Interesting. Why gvs? Have yo explored echolocation and other visual mapping concepts like

That is a logical question. Part of what’s important to understand is that for some reason, my other senses are at a very low threshhold of perception. I’ve already trained my brain to do this thing, which basically gives me sensations in my eye muscles as if they were limbs, so exploring for objects just involves imagining myself making reaching motions. GVS facilitates that because of reflexes like the VOR.
I know this thing works for me, so am not in the exploratory, let’s brainstorm all the ideas phase. I’m at the let’s do the thing phase. I’ve been grappling with this problem for fourteen years now.
If it isn’t GVS specifically, that’s totally fine, but it needs to stimulate the vestibular nerves in some way. The vegas nerve might also be involved, because the directional visual experiences also active my social engagement system. i get to make eye contact and it’s wonderful. (Disclaimer: Not everyone likes eye contact, and making eye contact or having access to visuals isn’t better by default, it’s just what I want).