Nissan’s Formula E drivers must be wondering what the hell they’ve signed on for?

The company has just signed them up for a brain training program to improve their performance.

Nissan Brain to Performance is focused on brain function and anatomy research, training and development.

Drivers Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland will be subject to advanced brain imaging and analysis to determine the anatomical specifics of high performance, professional drivers.

The program aims to develop bespoke, optimized training to enhance the brain functions and anatomy related to driving and racing.

“At Nissan, we dare to do what others don’t,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan global motorsports director.

There’s an understatement.

“What if, through advanced brain function analysis and training, we could help make our drivers perform better?” he said.

“Every tenth of a second counts in Formula E, so we’re excited to see how our cutting-edge Nissan research team can enhance Seb and Oli’s already high-performing brain functionality.”

The first stage of the new program will involve detailed analysis and testing of the Formula E racers’ brain functions, compared against a control group of ‘average’, non-racing drivers.

All drivers will perform a range of tasks on state-of-the-art driving simulators while their brain activity is monitored and recorded.

Based on the results, a bespoke driver training program involving electrical brain stimulation will be developed with the aim of improving driver performance.

The program will be coordinated by Dr Lucian Gheorghe, a leader in the field of brain analysis and training, and a driving force behind Nissan’s forward-looking research on how to better build the connection between people and Nissan vehicles.

The immediate priority of the Nissan Brain to Performance program is to enhance the performance of Nissan’s Formula E racers.

“Our brains are incredibly powerful. Without us realizing it, they perform a multitude of critical functions every second we drive our cars,” Dr Gheorghe said.

“Our highly trained and experienced Nissan Formula E drivers perform these functions under intense pressure and at great speed as they constantly search for faster lap times.

“Our new Nissan Brain to Performance program seeks to understand what it is about their brains’ electrical activity that enables them to do what they do.

“Then, if we can, we’d like to help them further improve their performance through bespoke brain training.

“In the future, could our cutting-edge research help improve the driving skills of the average driver, and inform the development of our road-going EVs? We hope so.”

One of the key areas of research involves electrical brain stimulation.

Through the use of electrical brain stimulation, can a professional driver’s brain be enhanced to improve on-track performance?

Once existing brain activity is known, a bespoke driver training program of electrical brain stimulation can be initiated, monitored, and reported.

There will be no excuses for ‘flat’ performance in the Nissan camp from now on.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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