Musee des Moulages

Our Visit to the Dermatology museum on June 7th was very surprising. I went in expecting to not feel nauseated, but after the visit I did. We weren’t allowed to take pictures because all the molds were made from real-life patients, and taking pictures would be unethical. This visit connected to both our neuroscience classes, since we were able to connect our paper about syphilis and how a nervous system disease can also manifest onto the skin. We were able to connect our neuroscience knowledge about the neurological and ocular changes over various stages of syphilis and apply them while seeing the molds that represented the various stages of the disease on the skin. 

I was also able to connect to my neuroethics research when we were informed about the reason we weren’t allowed to take pictures. It was refreshing to see how museums also require ethical guidelines when displaying structures taken from real-life patients. 

My picture with the various frames of famous pathologists, dermatologists, and scientists who contributed to the museum, on the stairs leading to the museum. (We were permitted to take pictures here)

Photo Post 4 – Jacob Lishnoff

On May 27th my classmates and I went to the Chateau de Fontainbleau, which was a unique experience, to say the least. It was really cool to see Napoleon Bonaparte’s palace. I found kind of funny that Napoleon had to sign his abdication papers in the room right next to his own room. That’s really tough, man. But aside from that, it was gorgeous!! I loved how the display rooms captured the change in attitudes toward interior design throughout the three centuries. What an amazing trip! Such a nice rest before all the work I had to do in the coming weeks.

In this photo is me next to the big guy himself, Napoleon.

Photo Post 3 – Jacob Lishnoff

On May 26th my class and I went on another excursion, to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise! At the cemetery, we did a little bit of grave hunting to find some prominent people. It took us forever to find some of the graves but oh was it worth it! We got lost in the cemetery which made us slow down and really look at our surroundings. I didn’t realize how beautiful the architecture was on some of the graves. This trip (in addition to being in the beautiful city of Paris) revived my passion and appreciation for architecture. If my goal of being a clinical psychologist doesn’t pan out well, I am rest assured knowing that my love for architecture will always be there! Here is me tired as heck leaving the cemetery, due to how hot it was and due to how much walking/searching we did!

Photo Post 2 – Jacob Lishnoff

On May 31st Jewel and I went to a local library to work on our Paper 2. The library was so small yet so nice. It was such a relief to find this place as there were so few people there which allowed us to really bunker down and push out some quality work. Also, it was near this nice boba place where Jewel and I had the option of taking a quick boba break which was a huge plus. It was so nice to get lost and explore the area of Le Marais during our downtime. From now on I think I’m going to pick a random location with a library, get some work done and start exploring a new side of Paris. In this photo is me and Jewel after a successful study session!

Photo post 1 – Jacob Lishnoff

On May 30th, my classmates and I went to a Chocolate-making workshop where we made chocolate bars and later went to a museum about chocolate. This was my first time seeing how these chocolate bars were made. I had such a great time making chocolate but I soon realized that my chocolate bar design skills definitely need some work! My peers made such beautiful and intricate bar designs. After eating all of my bars of chocolate I rest assured that it didn’t matter. It tasted delicious! In this photo is me with the beauties that I birthed during this chocolate making… Later I proceeded to binge all of them as a makeshift anti-anxiety med.

Visiting the Mona Lisa

On Saturday, June 4th, myself and some other students visited the Louvre. Before coming to Paris, there were a few places I heard of or was told I had to see. The Louvre was one of them. Knowing that I was going to be able to see very few exhibits in my few hours there, the Mona Lisa was a must-see for me.

A photo I took of the Mona Lisa close enough to see the glass that saved her from the recent cake incident!  

There is quite a bit of literature explaining that art has positive impacts on mental health. While I can definitely see how this would be true, I found the museum overwhelming and anxiety-inducing due to the crowds. Maybe the word has gotten out about the neurological benefits of art and people can’t wait to go! Or maybe it was just a busy Saturday. I’ll let you decide which explanation to believe.

Brain de Fontainebleu 

As we toured the seemingly endless halls of Chateau Fontainebleu, I thought about how distinct each room in the manor appeared. There were countless styles to admire from the gorgeous Gobelin tapestries to the baroque frescos to Marie Antoinette’s lavish furniture possession; I was overwhelmed and overstimulated. I was trying hard to connect the dots, to make sense of the rise and fall of these great epochs in French history. I felt that each corridor was a synapse between the many neuron chambers–each complete with a world of organelles from lost ages. I couldn’t make sense of it by the units, but the Chateau made sense as a composite. Perhaps this is how we must view our brains. Consciousness isn’t something so much to be understood as it is to be experienced. As we navigate our memories that construct the rooms within our minds, it should not be so much of a priority to rationalize which doors lead where (for surely, you will get lost), but rather, an exercise to clean and maintain what parts of yourself to which you are still able to access.

Pere Proust

This is the grave of Marcel Proust from our class visit to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. I first discovered who he was from a reference to his work, “In Search of Lost Time.” I have not directly read his work yet, but I read Alain de Botton’s ‘self-help’ book titled, “How Proust Can Change Your Life” where I was encouraged to question many of the social norms and ways of life that most of us find ourselves stuck in. In relation to the class, many have said that Proust was actually a pioneer in neuroscience as a theorist, and modern work simply builds upon the artists of past generations. Proust shined a light upon the nature of the mind and on consciousness.

More here if you are interested:

Writing a Paper from the Luxembourg Gardens (Photo Post)

A photo of the Luxembourg Palace from the garden.

On Monday, June 6th, the day before our third paper was due, I went to the Luxembourg Gardens to finish up my paper. This was my first time in the gardens and wow was it beautiful! Before coming to Paris, I knew France had a lot of castles but I didn’t expect them to be in the heart of the city. It was amazing to be able to take the metro a few stops away from accent and be at a castle with gorgeous gardens. While sitting there writing my paper surrounded by the greenery, hearing the calming sound of the fountain, and feeling the beams of the sun on my face, I felt a sense of relief from the anxiety I had surrounding this paper. It was very cool to feel the first-hand impacts that nature has on stress relief (Tyrväinen et al., 2014).

Tyrväinen, L., Ojala, A., Korpela, K., Lanki, T., Tsunetsugu, Y., & Kagawa, T. (2014). The influence of urban green environments on stress relief measures: A field experiment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 1–9.

Rooting for the French (Rugby) Soccer Team!

On Friday, we ventured to Stade de France to enjoy a friendly game of rugby between France and Denmark. Although I did not purchase the fun rooster hat, France’s team mascot, I enjoyed trying it on and giving my peers a good laugh. We found our seats and immediately joined in on the cheering. We were tasked with counting the number of head impacts a specific rugby player endured during the match, as we had just learned about white matter abnormalities in rugby players due to head impacts. However, the game started, and we soon realized it was a soccer match between two of the best soccer teams in the world! Now, instead of counting head impacts, we counted headbutts. It was difficult to track a singular player, but as a team, France had over 10 headbutts! That is a lot of potential for mild traumatic brain injury!