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Article

The Effect of Surgical Masks on the Featural and Configural Processing of Emotions

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Aldo Ravelli Research Center for Neurotechnology and Experimental Brain Therapeutics, Department of Health Science, University of Milan, Via A. di Rudinì, 8, 20142 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Neurology and Laboratory of Neuroscience, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Piazzale Brescia, 20, 20149 Milan, Italy
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ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, San Paolo University Hospital, Via A. di Rudinì, 8, 20142 Milan, Italy
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Department of Oncology and Hematology-Oncology, University of Milan, Via Festa del Perdono, 7, 20122 Milan, Italy
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Psycho-Oncology Division, IRCCS-Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Via G. Ripamonti, 435, 20141 Milan, Italy
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Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico di Milano, Via F. Sforza, 35, 20122 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042420
Received: 28 January 2022 / Revised: 15 February 2022 / Accepted: 17 February 2022 / Published: 19 February 2022
From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of surgical masks became widespread. However, they occlude an important part of the face and make it difficult to decode and interpret other people’s emotions. To clarify the effect of surgical masks on configural and featural processing, participants completed a facial emotion recognition task to discriminate between happy, sad, angry, and neutral faces. Stimuli included fully visible faces, masked faces, and a cropped photo of the eyes or mouth region. Occlusion due to the surgical mask affects emotion recognition for sadness, anger, and neutral faces, although no significative differences were found in happiness recognition. Our findings suggest that happiness is recognized predominantly via featural processing. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; surgical mask; emotion recognition; alexithymia; face processing; featural processing; configural processing COVID-19; surgical mask; emotion recognition; alexithymia; face processing; featural processing; configural processing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maiorana, N.; Dini, M.; Poletti, B.; Tagini, S.; Rita Reitano, M.; Pravettoni, G.; Priori, A.; Ferrucci, R. The Effect of Surgical Masks on the Featural and Configural Processing of Emotions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 2420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042420

AMA Style

Maiorana N, Dini M, Poletti B, Tagini S, Rita Reitano M, Pravettoni G, Priori A, Ferrucci R. The Effect of Surgical Masks on the Featural and Configural Processing of Emotions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(4):2420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042420

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maiorana, Natale, Michelangelo Dini, Barbara Poletti, Sofia Tagini, Maria Rita Reitano, Gabriella Pravettoni, Alberto Priori, and Roberta Ferrucci. 2022. "The Effect of Surgical Masks on the Featural and Configural Processing of Emotions" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 4: 2420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042420

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