Previous page Delphine OUDIETTE Principal Investigator, PhD, CR, INSERM Team "Normal and abnormal motor control: movement disorders and experimental therapeutics"


  • 2021: Habilitation to direct research (Sorbonne University, UFR Biology)
  • 2007-2010: PhD in Neuroscience, University of Paris VI (Ecole doctorale ED3C)
  • 2007-2008: Bachelor's degree in Modern Literature, University of Paris III
  • 2005-2007: Master in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Paris VI
  • 2002-2005: Bachelor's degree in Biology, University of Paris VI
Professional background
  • Since 2018 : Research fellow INSERM, Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord (ICM), Team 'Abnormal Movements and Base Ganglia' (Paris, France)
  • 2016-2018: Post-doctoral fellow, Service des Pathologies du Sommeil, Hôpital Pitié-Salpétrière & ICM, Equipe 'Mouvements anormaux et Ganglions de la Base' (Paris, France); Supervisors: Pr Stéphane Lehéricy/ Pr Marie Vidailhet/ Pr Isabelle Arnulf
  • 2014-2016: Post-doctoral fellow, ICM, Motivation, Brain & Behavior team (Paris, France), Supervisor : Mathias Pessiglione
  • 2011-2014: Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, (Evanston, USA) ; Supervisor : Pr Ken A. Paller
  • 2007-2010: PhD student, Sleep Pathology Unit, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris, France); Supervisor: Pr Isabelle Arnulf

Research work

In our modern societies which value productivity, sleep is often perceived as a loss of time, as if sleep ‘stole’ from us precious hours that we could spend ‘living’. Yet sleep disturbances are a core symptom of numerous societal health issues such as aging, depression, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that sleep has a crucial role for our global functioning. But the exact functions of sleep and underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. My overarching goal is to discover what happens to us when we sleep, at the brain, cognitive, and experiential level. Is our stream of consciousness different across vigilance states? Does sleep transform the way we think and act while awake? Answering those questions is challenging because what happens in the sleeping mind is virtually inaccessible. This means that it is difficult to tease apart and measure one specific sleep-related cognitive process by relying solely on EEG activity. I attempt to circumvent this difficulty by combining different strategies:
  • traditional indirect methods such as experience sampling (e.g. dream report) and behavioral measurements in cognitive tasks
  • neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG) and advanced machine learning tools
  • innovative approaches in cognitive research (gesture recognition algorithm, graph theory for semantic networks, targeted memory reactivation)
  • 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 visualize ongoing cognitive processes happening during non-REM sleep.
I use these strategies to investigate how sleep impacts major cognitive functions such as memory, creative problem solving, and perception. More specifically, my project is articulated in three main axes whose specific aims are:
  1. To uncover the contribution of sleep memory reactivation in the evolution of a motor learning between encoding and recall, both at the brain and behavioral level.
  2. To shed light on the sleep-dependent mechanisms associated with creative problem solving.
  3. To better understand how auditory stimuli are processed across vigilance states at the brain and subjective level.
Overall, my project proposes to overcome traditional difficulties stalling research on dreams and sleep functions, -namely the lack of access and experimental control over mental and cognitive processes happening during sleep. It will help deciphering how sleep shapes our wake experiences. In a context where the standard sleep scoring criteria start to be called into question, I hope that my work will help discovering the ‘laws of sleep’, that is the minimal core determinants necessary to define sleep and account for the diversity of dissociated states between wakefulness and sleep that have been described so far. Interests : sleep; dream; memory; creativity; cognition  


  • Real-Time Dialogue between Experimenters and Dreamers During REM Sleep.

Konkoly, K. and Appel, K. and Chabani, E. … Oudiette, D.*, Dresler, M.* and Paller, K.,*

*: Equal contribution. Current Biology (2021)

  • Increased creative thinking in narcolepsy.

Lacaux C, …Oudiette D. Brain (2019)

  • REM sleep respiratory behaviours match mental content in narcoleptic lucid dreamers.

Oudiette D, Dodet P, … Similowski T, Arnulf I. Scientific Reports (2018)

  • The role of memory reactivation during wakefulness and sleep in determining which memories endure.

Oudiette D, Antony JW, Creery JD, Paller KA. Journal of Neuroscience (2013)

  • Upgrading the sleeping brain with targeted memory reactivation.

Oudiette D, Paller KA. Trends in Cognitive Science (2013)