Oudiette Delphine


My overarching goal is to discover what happens to us when we sleep, on a brain, cognitive, and experiential level. Does sleep transform the way we think and act while awake?

More specifically, I study how sleep (and associated dreams) impacts major cognitive functions such as memory, creative problem solving, and perception. I am particularly interested in ‘hybrid states’ mixing features of wakefulness and sleep (e.g. sleep onset period, lucid dreaming, mind-wandering). My strategy is to combine behavioral tasks with experience sampling (dream reports), EEG,and innovative approaches in cognitive research (gesture recognition algorithm,graph theory for semantic networks, targeted memory reactivation). I use this approach both in healthy participants and in clinical populations whose unique sleep peculiarities open a window into the sleeping mind:  lucid dreamers who can signal in real-time that they are dreaming and sometimes control their dream scenario during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, and sleepwalkers whose overt behaviors allow to visualise ongoing cognitive processes happening during non-REM sleep.

I did my PhD in cognitive neurosciences at Pr Isabelle Arnulf ‘s Sleep Department at Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, in Paris. I studied patients who act out their dreams (REM sleep behavior disorder) to better understand motor, mental, and cognitive processes associated with REM sleep. Then, I spent three years in the US, at Northwestern University, where I was a postdoctoral fellow in Pr Ken A. Paller’s team. I focused on the role of sleep in memory consolidation, using sensory cues to selectively reactivate individual memories (targeted memory reactivation or TMR). After that, I came back to France for a second postdoctoral position at Pr Matthias Pessiglione’s lab at the Paris Brain Institute,where I discovered an entire new field, -value-based decision making/neuroeconomy. I investigated the paradoxical effect of motivation on physical performance. Since 2018, I hold a permanent research position (Chargée de Recherche Inserm) at the Paris Brain Institute (ICM).

-Sleep onset isa creative sweet spot. Lacaux C et al. Science Advances (2021). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5866.

-Real-Time Dialogue between Experimenters and Dreamers During REM Sleep. Konkoly et al. Current Biology (2021). doi:10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.026.

-Increase creative thinking in narcolepsy. Lacaux C et al. Brain (2019). doi: 10.1093/brain/awz137.

-REM sleep respiratory behaviours match mental content in narcoleptic lucid dreamers. Oudiette et al. Scientific Reports (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21067-9.

-The role of memory reactivation during wakefulness and sleep in determining which memories endure. Oudiette et al. Journal of Neuroscience (2013). doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5497-12.2013.

-Upgrading the sleeping brain with targeted memory reactivation. Oudiette et al. TICS (2013).doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2013.01.006.

-Do the eyes scan dream images during REM sleep? Evidence from the REM sleep behaviour disorder model. Leclair-Visonneau et al. Brain(2010). doi: 10.1093/brain/awq110. 

-Dreamlike sensations during sleepwalking and sleep terrors in adults Oudiette et al.Sleep (2009). doi:10.1093/sleep/32.12.1621.

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