Thought I will give it a go :)
Spatial disorientation (temporary term) happens when user has no reference point in-sight to orient their next move.
This seems to be a known issue with infinite scrolling, as well as in the navigation of virtual spaces. In both situations the user could lack sufficient insight to guide their decision making process and hence their next move or the continuation of an on-going action which results in uncertainty and disorientation. In virtual environments this could be countered by:
Increasing the user’s awareness about the surrounding 3D space that is
outside the current viewport. This space is called “virtual off-screen
source: Evaluating guidelines for reducing user disorientation when
navigating in virtual environments (PDF)
I think the same principal applies for scrolling and site navigation: To deal with this, Design will have to provide sufficient clues as to what lies beyond what is immediately available for the user to see. The concept of information scent and the theory of information foraging could prove useful:
Information scent refers to the extent to which users can predict what
they will find if they pursue a certain path through a website. The
term is part of information foraging theory, which explains how
users interact with systems using the analogy of animals hunting for
Source: Deceivingly Strong Information Scent Costs Sales
To use the aviation metaphor again: Navigation structure of the website are the equivalent of pilot instruments. Clues or information scent are landmarks that help users navigate.
This might not be a definite answer but could orient towards one.