Financed PhD proposal :- Memory consolidation during wakefulness: a possible role for odours? (CMO team, Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon, France)


Memory consolidation processes have for long been mainly linked to sleep phases and slow sleep rhythms. Recently, however, it has been shown that consolidation processes also occur during quiet wakefulness. From a mechanistic point of view, slow rhythms seem to promote memory consolidation by facilitating hippocampal-cortical

Given that

1) some olfactory stimuli (soothing odours) are known to induce calm wakefulness by decreasing respiratory and heart rates, and

2) the olfactory nasal pathway is involved in synchronising brain rhythms to the slow rhythm of respiration during calm wakefulness,

We hypothesise that some specific odours may favour the emergence of a calm state and thus enhance memory consolidation by promoting the emergence of slow brain rhythms.

This hypothesis will be tested by means of a series of experiments during which participants will be asked to encode a series of associations. After being exposed to different odours during a rest period, their recall performance will be tested. Brain and other physiological activities (heart, breathing) will be recorded in parallel, along with their responses to various questionnaires. Data collected will include behavioural data, EEG activity, cardiac and respiratory signals.

The research project will be under the joint supervision of BUONVISO Nathalie (HDR) and of PLAILLY Jane

How to apply?

To apply, a CV and motivation letter need to be sent to and

We are looking for a highly committed candidate, interested in questions concerning memory, the relationship between the central and autonomic nervous systems, curious about olfaction and with programming skills. Moreover, it is pre-requisite for the candidate to be at ease with french for effective communication with the participants.

The PhD offer is affiliated with the NSCo doctoral school of Lyon.

For further queries, please contact:

Useful links

  1. CMO team at the Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon:
  2. NSCo doctoral school of lyon :–79610.kjsp

Somre recent publications:

  1. Boisselier L, Gervasoni D, Garcia S, Ferry B, Gervais R. Neuronal dynamics supporting formation and recombination of cross-modal olfactory-tactile association in the rat hippocampal formationJ Neurophysiol (2018) 119(3):1140-1152.
  2. Al Koborssy D, Palouzier-Paulignan B, Canova V, Thevenet M, Fadool DA, Julliard AK. Modulation of olfactory-driven behavior by metabolic signals: role of the piriform cortexBrain Struct Funct(2019) 224(1):315-336.
  3. Courtiol E, Neiman M, Fleming G, Teixeira CM, Wilson DA. A specific olfactory cortico-thalamic pathway contributing to sampling performance during odor reversal learningBrain Struct Funct (2019) 224(2):961-971.