Dr Pierre Maquet, a doctor in the neurology department at the Liège University Hospital Centre, a FRS-FNRS research director at the University of Liège's Cyclotron Research Centre and a WELBIO investigator, is the 2011 winner of the triennial prize awarded by the Pierre and Simone Clerdent Foundation.
This prize, which support medical research in the field of human neurological illnesses, will enable Dr Pierre Maquet's team to carry out a double study on the evolution of cognitive capacities and the functioning of the human brain when individuals are subjected to long periods of sleep deprivation or deficit.
This situation, to which have to adapt, for example, numerous workers in specific professions or travellers (time zone differences), etc., is not without having consequences on reaction capabilities or human health. Industrial accidents such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Bhopal are clearly linked to human errors which have occurred during a night time break.
The consequences for brain capacities of fluctuating interactions over the course of a day between circadian rhythms and sleep pressure are the subject of numerous studies, but few amongst them are specifically concerned with the behaviour of individuals subject to chronic sleep deficit.