Research themes

The laboratories

Human resources

Research teams

  Julie Carrier

  Louis De Beaumont

  Alex Desautels

  Marie Dumont   Johannes Frasnelli

  J-François Gagnon

  Nadia Gosselin

  Gilles Lavigne

  Valérie Mongrain

  Jacques Montplaisir

  Tore Nielsen

  Simon Warby
  Antonio Zadra


      Tore A. Nielsen, Ph.D.

Full Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal
Psychologist (College of Psychologists of Quebec)
Director of the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory
514-338-2222 ext. 3350

Post-doctorate in Psychiatry (Université de Montréal)
Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (University of Alberta)
M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology (University of Calgary)

Research Interests:
Dependance of learning and memory on REM sleep and dreaming processes. Pathophysiology, cognitive dysfunction, quantitative EEG, and changes in sleep-dependant memory processes in patients with recurrent nightmares. Dream disturbances and parasomnias in pregnancy and postpartum women. Dream alterations in REM sleep behavior disorder. Dreaming, empathy and the mirror neuron system. Nightmares, early-life adverse events, and suicide.

Polysomnography, selective REM sleep deprivation, spectral analysis of the EEG and ECG, sensory stimulation during sleep, virtual reality exposure, sampling and analysis of lab and home dreams, internet-based dream collection.


Team in training:



  Isabelle Godin

    Ph.D. candidate in Psychology R/I (Université de Montréal)
    Subject: Dreams of rapid eye movement behavior disorders patients.

  Jessica Lara-Carrasco

    Ph.D. candidate in Psychology (Université de Montréal)
   Subject: Pregnancy dreams: A study of the association between maternal    representations in dreams of pregnant women and postnatal psychological     well-being.






  Elizaveta Solomonova
(co-direction with Dr Sha Xin Wei)

    Ph.D. candidate, Individualized program (Université de Montréal)
  Subject: Sleep and dreams during kinesthetic stimulation: comparison     between meditators and non-meditators.




  Michelle Carr

    M.Sc. candidate in Biomedical Sciences (Université de Montréal)
   Subject: The associative nature of REM sleep and Dreaming: a mechanism     toward creativity.




  Christian O'Reilly

    Postdoctoral Fellow in Biomedical Sciences (Université de Montréal)
  Subject: Design of analytical tools for the electroencephalographic     investigation of sleep spindles: Application to the study of the impact of sleep     on memory consolidation.





  Kadia Saint-Onge

    M.Sc. candidate in Psychology (Université de Montréal)




  Louis-Philippe Marquis

    Ph.D. candidate in Psychology, R/I (Université de Montréal)
    Subject: Cerebral network of fear: high-resolution SPECT imaging in
    post-traumatic stress disorder and in nightmare disorder



Recent publications:


Nielsen TA, Paquette T, Solomonova E, Lara-Carrasco J, Colombo R, Lanfranchi P. Changes in cardiac variability after REM sleep deprivation in recurrent nightmares. Sleep 2010, 33(1), 113-22.

Nielsen TA. Nightmares associated with the eveningness chronotype. J Biol Rhythms 2010, 25(1), 53-62.

Nielsen TA, Paquette T, Solomonova E, Lara-Carrasco J, Popova A, Levrier K. REM sleep characteristics of nightmare sufferers before and after REM sleep deprivation. Sleep Med 2010, 11(2), 172-9.

Lara-Carrasco J, Nielsen TA, Solomonova E, Levrier K, Popova A. Overnight emotional adaptation to negative stimuli is altered by REM sleep deprivation and is correlated with intervening dream emotions. J Sleep Res 2009, 18, 178-87.

Levin R, Nielsen T. Nightmares, bad dreams and emotion dysregulation: A review and new neurocognitive model of dreaming. Current Directions in Psychological Science 2009, 18, 84-8.

Simard V, Nielsen TA, Tremblay R, Boivin M, Montplaisir JY. Longitudinal study of preschool sleep disturbance: the predictive role of maladaptive parental behaviours, early sleep problems and child/mother psychological factors. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2008, 162(4), 360-7.

Solomonova E, Nielsen TA, Stenstrom P, Simard V, Frantova E, Donderi D. Sensed presence as a correlate of sleep paralysis distress, social anxiety and waking state social imagery. Conscious Cogn 2008, 17, 49-63.

Simard V, Nielsen TA, Tremblay R, Boivin M, Montplaisir JY. Longitudinal study of bad dreams in preschool children: prevalence, demographic correlates, risk and protective factors. Sleep 2008, 31, 62-70.

Nielsen TA, Paquette T. Dream-associated behaviors affecting pregnant and postpartum women. Sleep 2007, 30(9), 1162-9.

Nielsen TA, Levin R. Nightmares: a new neurocognitive model. Sleep Med Rev 2007, 11(4), 295-310.