Mind Over Matter
NZ neuroscientist Dr Kerry Spackman is working with Team McLaren to uncover the workings of a racing driver’s mind. “In most sports now, the modern athlete is pushing his brain to the limit,” he says. “Today’s F1 car does things almost instantaneously, and the brain can’t keep up. The idea is to rewire its circuits, to supercharge its processes, so that it’s more suited to the task – to turn it from a computer into a supercomputer, if you like.” Spackman became interested in the brain functions of elite athletes after a chance meeting with racing legend Jackie Stewart 15 years ago. He now works with sportspeople in many fields, with the belief that the mind needs as intensive training as the body.