Nissan to study brain function of Formula E drivers

Nissan’s Formula E drivers could gain a competitive edge over their rivals after participating in a program focused on brain function and anatomy.

brain function
Nissan launches brain function development program to enhance racing driver performance (Image: Nissan Motor Co Ltd)

The Nissan Brain to Performance program will use advanced brain imaging and analysis to determine the anatomical specifics of high performance, professional drivers including Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi and Oliver Rowland.

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According to Nissan, the program aims to develop bespoke, optimised training to enhance the brain functions and anatomy related to driving and racing.

“With this groundbreaking program, we aim to understand our race drivers’ brain functions like never before and push the boundaries of on-track performance in Formula E,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan global motorsports director. “What if, through advanced brain function analysis and training, we could help make our drivers perform better? 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.”

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

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 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.