In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many governments around the world around the world required (or strongly) recommended the wearing of face coverings (masks) in public spaces – many of these restrictions remain in place today. While the wearing of face coverings to prevent spread of disease is fairly common in some Asian countries, it seems likely that their use elsewhere will continue, even after the immediate risk of COVID-19 subsides.
This thematic series highlights new work that characterizes the consequences of face masks on (a) the recognition and interpretation of facial expressions and emotions, (b) communication and social interactions, and (c) human and computational identity recognition and disguise. These are addressed within the broad context of ways in which face perception and communication may change, comparisons of the social impact of face coverings in societies in which they are common versus those in which they are a new phenomenon, and changes in perceived interpersonal communication.
The overall goal is to develop accounts of how and why face coverings influence our face perception and speech communication, with specific attention to the relevant cognitive and behavioral mechanisms, as well as the practical implications and limitations.
- Karen Lander
- Gabrielle Saunders