The short version: I'm currently working on a project that spans a variety of disciplines (psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and machine learning). My goal is to create some kind of device or therapy that will help congenitally blind people gain an understanding of how vision works, if they so choose. It will be built upon some kind of machine learning algorithm. I'm congenitally totally blind myself, and I've kinda sorta hacked my brain into perceiving what light and color and depth are. I say "kinda sorta," because I know there is a much, much better way to do this than the method I chose. Enter: science (dun dun dun).
What I'm looking for: A neuroscience grad student, or a neuroscientist, preferably someone with a penchant for qualitative methods, to help me analyze and categorize the experiences I have had and ground them in scientific literature as best as we can. (Trying to capture my experiences using empirical methods was an epic fail.) Then, based on what we found, collaborate to come up with a tentative proposal for a device that would increase visual understanding in the congenitally blind.
What you'd get out of it: I'm actually really hoping that this project won't largely be about my experiences, it will be more about what my experience says about multisensory and visual perception. So the ideal situation would be if the research you are already doing complements my project, so that it is easy to work on the two simultaneously.
The general theory: Eye movements resemble movements we make with other parts of our bodies (reaching, kicking, jumping, bending, etc). This similarity can be exploited to help congenitally retinally blind people make meaning out of information gleaned from the noisy activity of non-image forming cells (like intrinsicly photosensitive ganglion cells). Alternatively or additionally, understanding the similarities between eye motions and other bodily movements could help the congenitally blind imagine or simulate a visual world in the absence of vision.
Why I'm putting this on Okcupid: Simply because this is where the nerds hang out, and my other strategy of emailing researchers at three o'clock in the morning was largely ineffective. And, if you chose to take on this project, though the likelihood of us becoming romantic partners is incredibly low, I think it would require a very deep friendship to carry out this type of work, because by nature, it is intimate.
The nerdy goodness: If you want to read about some of the avenues I've explored so far, here's a link to my researchGate profile. You'll find a paper on how marijuana affects the retina and brain, a phenomenological account of my visual experiences undder the influence of cannabinoids, a predictive processing (Bayesian brain) account of my cannabinoid-induced visual experiences, and a lot of eye-tracking data that may or may not be useful.
If any of what I've written sounds appealing to you, or if you have suggestions on where I could find a person to help, please get in touch.
Keywords: Cannabinoids, retina, predictive processing/the Bayesian brain, synesthesia, consciousness, proprioception, visual perception, congenital blindness, the vestibular system, multisensory perception, the multisensory homunculous.