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Research Letter
November 15, 2021

The Role of Face Masks in the Recognition of Emotions by Preschool Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Neonatology Developmental Unit, Woman-Mother-Child Department, University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Higher Education and Research in Healthcare, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176(1):96-98. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4556
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    1 Comment for this article
    Recognition of Emotions by Voice during face mask wear.
    Harikrishnan Pandurangan, MDS, FDSRCS(England), PhD | Craniofacial Orthodontist & Oral Surgeon, Teeth "N" Jaws Center, Lake area, Chennai, India
    The authors studied an interesting phenomena relevant to the current Covid-19 pandemic regarding the recognition of emotions in children in the presence of face mask. The methodology using only a photographic depiction of emotions by preschool children is a not closer to real-time scenario because always there is voice involved by the childminders or teachers.

    During communication, various non-verbal aspects of language convey emotions such as the tone of voice varied through the pitch, loudness, timbre, speech rate and pauses called the emotional or affective prosody. It was found that we are more accurate when we
    hear someone's voice than when we look only at their facial expressions, or see their face and hear their voice. In other words, we may be able to sense someone's emotional state even better over the phone than in person.  Voice is an important medium for conveying emotional state because it is relatively independent of the listener's distance and the ability to view the speaker.

    Thus, I feel voicing the expressions even when wearing face mask will help in preschool children's better prediction of emotions and responses.