I have recently completed my PhD in Cognitive Neurosciences at the Paris Brain Institute (ICM),working with Delphine Oudiette and Isabelle Arnulf. I received a doctoral grant from the Ecole Doctorale Cerveau Cognition Comportement (ED3C) to pursue my PhD., and an additional grant from the Société Française de Recherche Médicale Sur le Sommeil to continue my research for a fourth year.
Previously, I graduated from the Dual Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences degree. I spent the first year of my master (2015-2016) at University College London, where I conducted animal research in the lab of Hugo Spiers on the neuronal circuits involved in navigation. Then, I did my second year at Ecole Normale Supérieure and Université Pierre et Marie Curie. My research project in Sid Kouider's lab sought to determine the extent to which we are still capable of encoding external information while sleeping.
Before that, I completed an undergraduate degree in Biology at Aix-Marseille University and Imperial College London. My research internship was in Giorgio Gilestro's lab (Imperial), where I studied the role of sleep on memory (habituation) in Drosophila Melanogaster. It appears that my primary research interest has been sleep since the beginning of my studies. I hope to continue research in this area during a postdoc.
Lacaux C, Andrillon T, Bastoul C, Idir Y,Fonteix-Galet A, Arnulf I, Oudiette D. Sleep onset is a creative sweet spot.Science Advances. 2021
Koroma M, Lacaux C, Andrillon T, Legendre G, Léger D, Kouider S.Sleepers Selectively Suppress Informative Inputs during Rapid Eye Movements.Curr Biol. 2020 Jun 22;30(12):2411-2417.e3.
Lacaux C, Izabelle C, Santantonio G, De VillèleL, Frain J, Lubart T, Pizza F, Plazzi G, Arnulf I, Oudiette D. Increased creative thinking in narcolepsy. Brain. 2019 Jul 1;142(7):1988-1999.
I am most interested in the effect of sleep on cognition. More specifically, I try to approach two elusive phenomena: creative inspiration and the borderland between sleep and wakefulness, and I investigate how the two might interact. Our main hypothesis is that hybrid states on the cusp of wakefulness and sleep would promote creativity. During my PhD, I examined narcolepsy, a sleep disorder in which the line between wakefulness and sleep is even finer than usual because these patients constantly oscillate between both states due to their excessive daytime sleepiness. Consistent with our initial hypothesis, we found that patients with narcolepsy had higher creative potential than control subjects,implying that their privileged access to sleep (and dreams) aided in the development of increased creativity over time. Then, I directly examined the influence of the sleep-onset period on creative problem-solving, demonstrating that just one minute spent in this period was enough to triple the probability of solving a problem in a Eureka! moment when compared to a period spent awake.Importantly, this beneficial effect was not observed in subjects who reached deeper sleep. Overall, our findings point to the existence of a creative sweet spot at the borderland between sleep and wakefulness; hitting it requires striking a balance between falling asleep easily but not too deeply.