Losing All My Senses In Paris!


As part of the DIS Summer experience, I participated in a Study Tour for five days in Paris, France. At 5:45 am on Sunday morning, my classmates and I arrived at the Arlanda airport and started our journey to Paris. We returned to Stockholm at 10:15 pm on Thursday, for a total of 4 nights and 5 days in France’s capital city. We spent this short time trying to experience as much of the city as possible, while also learning about Affective Neuroscience in the process. Our itinerary included both cultural and academic visits.

For academic visits, we toured museums like the Music Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Pasteur Institute. We also had several educational experiences, including the tactile exhibit at the Louvre, dinner in the dark at Dans le Noir, and an hour in a sensory deprivation tank. Each of these experiences was designed to deepen our understanding of emotions and Affective Neuroscience.

At the Music Museum, dinner in the dark, the tactile exhibit, Musée d’Orsay, and the sensory deprivation tank, we examined the relationship between our senses and our perceptions and emotions.

Mishi, the cat, keeping us company at Meiso while we waited for out tanks to be ready.

We discovered that music can heavily influence emotions, how artists used their art to express and regulate their emotions, and how the deprivation of some or all the senses affects us.

At the Pasteur Institute, we switched our attention to research methodology of the past and today by learning about the life and work of Louis Pasteur (I highly recommend learning about him! Truly a fascinating person!) and by speaking with Dr. Lefèvre about her current research into Autism.

A collection of harps at the Music Museum

Our cultural experiences, while less academically motivated, were also painted by the context of our class topic. We watched the sun set and the moon rise on a boat tour of the Seine river, where we were able to see several icons of Paris, including the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. We also toured the Louvre art museum and the Château de Versailles, or the Palace of Versailles. At each location, we examined what we were feeling by keeping a mood diary throughout the trip. We also paid attention to the emotions of those around us by documenting the social emotions they expressed.

So close to the Mona Lisa!

Overall, it was an amazing learning experience and something that I will not easily forget! Paris was a beautiful city and I know there is so much more for me to experience there. Of the activities we did while there, I particularly enjoyed the Pasteur Institute for its riveting story, the Musée d’Orsay for its interesting history and architecture (It used to be a train station before it was converted into a museum) and the impressionist painting we saw there, and the boat tour for its gorgeous view of Paris!

View from the clock tower at the Musée d’Orsay

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