Released in December of 2005, Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France is an IMAX film which fuses two ostensibly unconnected disciplines: cycling and neuroscience. The film shadows Baden Cook and Jimmy Caspar, two cyclists competing in the tour. During their journey, the viewer experiences the inner workings of the human brain and its ability to endure one of the most grueling physical challenges on earth – the Tour de France.
Produced in conjunction with Partners Healthcare, The National Science Foundation, Ortho-McNeil Neurologics and nWave Pictures, our company navigated the animators through the complexities of the brain sequences utilizing storyboarding techniques and visual medical supervision.
When the cyclist experiences fear, physical reactions manifest themselves. This sequence details how the body deals with emergency situations. A part of our brain called the hypothalamus sends a signal that activates our sympathetic nervous system. Heart rate increases, pupils dilate, bronchial air passages widen and a hormone called epinephrine (otherwise knows as adrenaline) is released, causing the body to prepare to fight off danger or run from it. The response is often called “fight-or-flight”.