• E-mail :[email]
  • Phone : 0688711234
  • Location : Caen, France
Last update 2016-05-10 14:55:14.836

Carine Malle PhD in cognitive psychology

Course and current status

- November 2009 - november 2013 : PhD student

Inserm U1077 / EPHE / Université de Caen Normandie & Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées

 "Effects of induced acute, hypobaric and normobaric, hypoxia on human memory"

- November 2013 - november 2014 : Postdoctoral researcher

Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées

"Effects of very high altitude exposure on attention and working memory in professional climbers"

- November 2014 - december 2015 : Research engineer

Inserm U1077 / EPHE / Université de Caen Normandie

“Assessment of the impact of sleep quality on Alzheimer’s disease-associated brain damages.”

- From february 2016 : Postdoctoral researcher

Inserm U1077 / EPHE / Université de Caen Normandie

“Assessment of the cerebral impact of November 2015 Paris attacks"

Scientific summary

My area of research mainly concerns the exploration of human memory disorders by means of a psychophysiological approach. My initial interest concerned memory impairments exhibited by healthy individuals exposed to extreme environments. I have centrally explored the effects of acute hypoxia, induced by extremely rapid high-altitude exposure, on various memory systems and processes. Firstly, I combined physiological measurements (EEG, ECG, blood oxygen saturation) to behavioural procedures in order to investigate which memory systems were sensitive to acute hypoxia. I have been able to show that working memory and episodic memory were both impaired by acute hypoxia, whereas perceptual priming was not. Moreover, I have proven that oxygen administration, which is the classical countermeasure of hypoxia, worsens the recovery from acute hypoxia exposure at both neurophysiological and behavioural levels (in comparison with air administration). Because a dissociation between impaired explicit memory and spared implicit memory was strongly in favour of a specific hippocampus dysfunction, we used acute hypoxia as a model to investigate the role of the hippocampus in episodic memory consolidation. This led me to suggest that the hippocampus is necessary for recollection but not for familiarity. Capitalizing on these results, I have also explored the effects of more prolonged high-altitude exposure on memory systems. Thanks to a collaboration with the French high-mountain military group, a study performed in the field (expedition to Shishapangma) drove us to the conclusion that acclimatization to high altitude prevents from working memory deficits.

In addition to high-altitude exposure, I have also investigated the impact of repeated general anaesthesia on memory in healthy individuals, particularly in elderly people. Preliminary study, performed in collaboration with the Val-de-Grâce Hospital, allowed us to show that some anaesthetic protocols are more harmful for working memory than others.    

Recently, I have been broadening my area of research to the physiopathology of Alzheimer’s disease as I am now involved in a project aiming at investigating the relationships between brain amyloid deposits, memory performance and sleep quality. Our main hypothesis is that poor sleep quality is associated with higher amyloid load in brain areas sensitive to aging and Alzheimer’s disease. We also investigate the potential association between sleep and the other Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers (atrophy and hypometabolism).

In conclusion, I have a significant experience in the exploration of memory systems in both healthy and pathological populations.

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