CogniFit's Science blog: A Formula One Brain

A Formula One Brain

In the 60’s and 70’s, Formula One was already a very competitive motor sport, with legendary champions. At that time, a Formula One racing car had a RPM meter and an oil pressure indicator. With these simple tools, the pilot could control the performance of the engine and win a race.

Today, a pilot needs to quickly read and take decisions over a large scope of information provided by the tableau de bord, in a matter of milliseconds. A mistake can be crucial for the development of the race, and can define who wins and who doesn’t. The racing cars are faster, but much more complex, and that’s the price to pay for the improvement in the performances, and for the milliseconds that make the difference for winners.

This is in fact no different from the real world, working at a company, or managing it. In truth a large part of the successful companies in the world, already existed 30 or 40 years ago, and they were already successful at that time. Yet nothing can be compared today to what was done back then. The competition was probably lighter than today, but mostly, the complexity of the markets and the work is immense.

The information systems are supposed to make life and work easier, but all they do is to create conditions to produce more in the same amount of time, hence improve productivity. Again, that comes at a cost of demanding more and more from our brain.

Today it’s just not enough to go to work early in the morning, do your job properly, and go home in the evening. In the history of Mankind, the amount of information a human being has had to absorb has never been so high. And the trend is to be even higher in the future.

How can our brain adapt to such dramatic changes, and not only cope with them, but be prepared to make use of that large amount of information to produce something good? It is in fact a challenge human beings face every day all around the world. Our brain is constantly being pushed to the limit, but not always in the right way.

Challenging the brain makes the neurons work and create connections between themselves. In itself that’s a good thing for the brain. But diversity is also needed; the brain needs to face different challenges. That’s how it will adapt. That’s how you’ll have a winning brain. Just like a brand new Formula One car.