My name is Vinicius, but most people call me Vini. I'm a Ph.D. student in the Sensorimotor Neuroscience Lab under Dr. Dan Marigold. I grew up in the Sao Paulo metro area, Brazil. I did my BSc in Physical Education in the School of Physical Education and Sports of the University of Sao Paulo and my MSc in the School of Medicine at the same university. During my BSc and MSc, I studied exercise physiology and sports nutrition. I came to SFU in Fall 2018 and currently, I investigate how people use vision to plan movements when walking becomes challenging.
What you do:
My research focuses on how people use vision when walking with increased energetic cost. For instance, when crossing a street, people must avoid bumping into other pedestrians or cars while also ensuring the signal indicates it is safe to walk. In these situations, people use vision to gather information about the environment (e.g., read a street name to orient themselves) and decide about possible paths. One of the main factors that our brain considers when deciding which path to take is the amount of energy required. However, it is unclear how increases in the energetic cost of walking, such as those resulting from injury or when carrying a weight, affects which feature of the environment we focus on or how this relationship shapes our decisions about which path (or step) to take.
Any advice you would give to starting graduates:
Aristotle once said; “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. On daily basis, much of the work in academia are just small tasks that can be quite boring and seem unimportant, however, those are the things that pave the way for the big moments we all look for. Being able to dedicate yourself and do those more trivial tasks well is not only fundamental but truly sublime.
Which do you prefer – dogs or cats?
I have had dogs in my house since I was a kid. My mom and I would grab them from the streets and give them a home. Now there is just one that is living with my mom back in Brazil; her name is Tutu, she loves naps and biting people.
This post was originally posted to the SFU BPK Instagram on May 18, 2021.