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Thomas Andrillon

Chercheur en neurosciences à l'Institut du Cerveau - Paris Brain Institute, Inserm

I am Thomas Andrillon, a researcher at the Paris Brain Institute (Paris, France).

I did my PhD at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (France) on brain's ability to process sensory information during sleep. I examined in particular how local modulations of brain activity such as sleep intrusions during wakefulness and wake intrusions during sleep impact the functioning of the brain.

I showed that, when we get tired, we may become slow at responding to images which is paralleled by neurons getting sluggish themselves. Conversely, when we are asleep, our brain does not completely shut from our environment and we can process auditory information complexly. My work suggests that we can even learn while sleeping!

After my PhD, I relocated in Australia in the laboratories of Prof. Nao Tsuchiya (Monash University) and Prof. Joel Pearson (UNSW), where I will explore the neural mechanisms underlying mind wandering and mind blanking. I notably showed that lapses of attention could be explained by the intrusion of local sleep-like activity in the awake brain.

I am now a tenured researcher in Paris where I will keep on studying sleep, dreaming and consciousness in healthy individuals and patients.


  • 2017–present
    Postdoctoral research associate, UNSW
  • 2012–2016
    PhD Candidate, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris


  • 2017 
    Sorbonne University, Chancellery PhD Award


  • 2017
    Selective neuronal lapses precede human cognitive lapses following sleep deprivation, Nature Medicine
  • 2017
    Formation and suppression of acoustic memories during human sleep, Nature Communications
  • 2016
    Napping: A public health issue. From epidemiological to laboratory studies, Sleep Medicine Reviews
  • 2016
    Implicit memory for words heard during sleep, Neuroscience of Consciousness
  • 2016
    Neural markers of responsiveness to the environment in human sleep, The Journal of Neuroscience
  • 2015
    Perceptual learning of acoustic noise generates memory-evoked potentials, Current Biology
  • 2015
    Single-neuron activity and eye movements during human REM sleep and awake vision, Nature Communications
  • 2014
    Inducing task-relevant responses to speech in the sleeping brain, Current Biology
  • 2011
    Regional slow waves and spindles in human sleep, Neuron
  • 2011
    Sleep spindles in humans: insights from intracranial EEG and unit recordings, The Journal of Neuroscience