Dream Team: sleep, dreams and cognition

Am I rotating?

Am I moving?

Am I a square?

The Dream Team is a trans-disciplinary team, including neurologists, psychiatrists, and cognitive neuroscientists. We have two main goals:

1) understand the mechanisms underlying neurological sleep disorders

2) discover why we sleep and dream

Our clinical research is focused on neurological sleep disorders including hypersomnias (narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, Kleine-Lewin syndrome) and parasomnias (sleepwalking/sleep terrors, REM sleep behaviour disorder).

We have also a long-standing experience in the exploration of the link between sleep disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease).

Our basic research aims to understand how sleep and associated dreams impact our cognitive functioning (memory, attention, creativity) and emotion processing.  

Both clinical and basic research investigate dissociated or mixed states between wake and sleep (e.g. sleep onset period, local sleep intrusions during waking), using neurophysiological recordings and brain imaging (e.g. EEG, videopolysomnography, fMRI) combined with behavioural tasks, and experience sampling. We leverage clinical models to open a window into the sleeping mind such as lucid dreaming in narcolepsy, enacted dreams in REM sleep behaviour disorder, and sleep talking in sleepwalking patients. We also develop new techniques, inspired from the field of machine learning, to analyze physiological recordings in healthy individuals and clinical models.

Sleep onset is a creative sweet spot. Lacaux C, Andrillon T, Bastoul C, Idir Y,Fonteix-Galet A, Oudiette D. Science Advances 2021 ; 7(50). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5866.

Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep. Konkoly KR, Appel K,Chabani E, Mangiaruga A, Gott J, Mallett R, Caughran B, Witkowski S, WhitmoreNW, Mazurek CY, Berent JB, Weber FD, Türker B, Leu-Semenescu S, Maranci JB,Pipa G, Arnulf I, Oudiette D, Dresler M, Paller KA. Curr Biol. 2021; 31(7):1417-1427. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.026. 

Kleine-Levin syndrome is associated with birth difficulties and genetic variants in the TRANK1 gene loci. Ambati A, Hillary R,Leu-Semenescu S, Ollila HM, Lin L, During EH, Farber N, Rico TJ, Faraco J,Leary E, Goldstein-Piekarski AN, Huang YS, Han F, Sivan Y, Lecendreux M, DodetP, Honda M, Gadoth N, Nevsimalova S, Pizza F, Kanbayashi T, Peraita-Adrados R,Leschziner GD, Hasan R, Canellas F, Kume K, Daniilidou M, Bourgin P, Rye D,Vicario JL, Hogl B, Hong SC, Plazzi G, Mayer G, Landtblom AM, Dauvilliers Y,Arnulf I, Mignot EJ. PNAS 2021 ;118(12). doi: 10.1073/pnas.2005753118.

Grumpy face during adult sleep:A clue to negative emotion during sleep? Maranci JB, Aussel A, Vidailhet M, Arnulf I.J Sleep Res. 2021;30(6).doi: 10.1111/jsr.13369. 

Dreams and nightmares in healthy adults and in patients with sleep and neurological disorders. Siclari F, Valli K,Arnulf I. Lancet Neurol. 2020; 19(10):849-859. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30275-1.


To split or to lump? Classifying the central disorders of hypersomnolence. Fronczek R, Arnulf I, Baumann CR, Maski K,Pizza F, Trotti LM. Sleep. 2020; 43(8). doi:10.1093/sleep/zsaa044.


Increased creative thinking in narcolepsy. Lacaux C, Izabelle C,Santantonio G, De Villèle L, Frain J, Lubart T, Pizza F, Plazzi G, Arnulf I,Oudiette D. Brain. 2019;142(7):1988-1999.doi:10.1093/brain/awz137.

Sleepwalking.ArnulfI. Current Biology. 2018; 28(22). doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.09.062


REM sleep respiratory behaviours match mental content in narcoleptic lucid dreamers.Oudiette D, Dodet P, Ledard N, Artru E, Rachidi I, Similowski T, Arnulf I. SciRep. 2018 ; 8(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21067-9.

Idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder and neurodegenerative risk: To tell or not to tell to the patient? How to minimize the risk? Arnaldi D, Antelmi E, St Louis EK, Postuma RB, Arnulf I. SleepMed Rev. 2017; 36:82-95. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2016.11.002.


The coeruleus/subcoeruleus complex in idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder.

Ehrminger M, LatimierA, Pyatigorskaya N, Garcia-Lorenzo D, Leu-Semenescu S, Vidailhet M, Lehericy S,Arnulf I. Brain. 2016;139(Pt 4):1180-8.  doi:10.1093/brain/aww006. 

Lucid dreaming in narcolepsy. Dodet P, Chavez M,Leu-Semenescu S, Golmard JL, Arnulf I. Sleep. 2015;38(3):487-97. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4516.


Kleine-Levin Syndrome in 120 patients: differential diagnosis and long episodes. Lavault S, Golmard JL, groos E,Brion A, Dauvilliers Y, Lecendreux M, Franco P, Arnulf I. Ann Neurol. 2015;77(3) :529-40. doi:10.1002/ana.24350. 


Feeling unreal: a functional imaging study in patients with Kleine-Levin syndrome.

Kas A, Lavault S,Habert MO, Arnulf I. Brain. 2014;137(Pt 7):2077-87. doi: 10.1093/brain/awu112.


Can we still dream when the mind isblank? Sleep and dream mentations in auto-activation deficit. Leu-Semenescu S, Uguccioni G, Golmard JL, Czernecki V,Yelnik J, Dubois B, Forgeot d'Arc B, Grabli D, Levy R, Arnulf I. Brain. 2013;136(Pt 10):3076-84. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt229.


REM sleep behaviour disorder: motor manifestations and pathophysiology.Arnulf I. Mov Disord. 2012; 27(6):677-89. doi: 10.1002/mds.24957. 


Hallucinations in narcolepsy with and without cataplexy: contrast with Parkinson’s disease. Leu-Semenescu S, DeCock VC, Le Masson VD, Debs R, Lavault S, Roze E, Vidailhet M, Arnulf I. SleepMed. 2011; 12(5):497-504. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2011.03.006.


Do the eyes scan dream images during rapid eye movement sleep? Evidence from the rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder model. Leclair-Visonneau L, Oudiette D, Gaymard B,Leu-Semenescu S, Arnulf I. Brain. 2010;133(Pt 6):1737-46. doi: 10.1093/brain/awq110. 


Sleep Induced by stimulation in the human pedunculopontine nucleus area.Arnulf I, Ferraye M, Fraix V, Benabid AL, Chabardès S, Goetz L, PollakP, Debû B. Ann Neurol. 2010. 67(4): 546-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.21912.


Dreamlike mentations during sleepwalking and sleep terrors in adults.Oudiette D, Leu S,Pottier M, Buzare MA, Brion A, Arnulf I. Sleep. 2009; 32(12):1621-7.doi:10.1093/sleep/32.12.1621.

Kleine-Levin syndrome:
a systematic study of 108 patients. Arnulf I, Lin L,Gadoth N, File J, Lecendreux M, Franco P, Zeitzer J, Lo B, Faraco JH, Mignot E.Ann Neurol. 2008;63(4):482-93. doi: 10.1002/ana.21333.

Sleep disturbances in patients with parkinsonism. De Cock VC, VidailhetM, Arnulf I. Nat Clin PractNeurol. 2008 May;4(5):254-66. doi:10.1038/ncpneuro0775. 


Rapid eye movement sleep disturbances in Huntington disease. Arnulf I, Nielsen J,Lohmann E, Schiefer J, Wild E, Jennum P, Konofal E, Walker M, Oudiette D,Tabrizi S, Durr A. Arch Neurol. 2008;65(4):482-8. doi: 10.1001/archneur.65.4.482.


Restoration of normal motor control in Parkinson's disease during REM sleep.

De Cock VC, Vidailhet M, Leu S, Texeira A, Apartis E,Elbaz A, Roze E, Willer JC, Derenne JP, Agid Y, Arnulf I. Brain. 2007;130(Pt 2):450-6. doi: 10.1093/brain/awl363.


Narcolepsy with cataplexy. Dauvilliers Y, ArnulfI, Mignot E. Lancet. 2007;369(9560):499-511. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60237-2.


Sleep and sex: what can go wrong? A review of the literature on sleep related disorders and abnormal sexual behaviors and experiences. Schenck CH, Arnulf I,Mahowald MW. Sleep. 2007;30(6):683-702. doi: 10.1093/sleep/30.6.683.

To learn about our ongoing projects, we invite you to consult the webpage of our principal investigators.

(see below)

Our research would not be possible without the smart, dedicated and delightful students we have the chance to work with.

We welcome  Master & PhD level students. We also offer temporary contracts for individuals who have completed their master or PhD. For opportunities, please consult each PI's webpage or contact us.

If you are interested in joining our team, or wish to receive more information:

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