Three shrinks worry about school children wearing masks

In a forum for Le Monde, three psychologists, Gérald Bussy, Jade Mériaux and Mathilde Muneaux examined the harmful effects of the mask on children, in particular on the cognitive and cerebral development of the youngest.

Wearing a mask is compulsory for children from 6 years old, since the end of October. A measure long demanded by some scientists to stem the health crisis. However, wearing masks for children at such a young age is worrying. Three psychologists, Gérald Bussy, psychologist specializing in neuropsychology, Jade Mériaux, psychologist specializing in neuropsychology, and Mathilde Muneaux, psychologist specializing in neuropsychology, have shown that this measure was harmful for the cognitive and cerebral development of the youngest.

Oral misunderstandings

"Wearing a mask also deprives the pupil of information on the movement of the lips, very useful information for perceiving phonemes (sounds that make up our language which are transcribed in letters when reading)", says the study. To arrive at this observation, the scientists relied on the study of McGurk and MacDonald in 1976 in the scientific journal Nature. “The authors showed that when lip movement did not match the sound heard, adult participants perceived a different sound,” specifies the study. For example, when participants heard the sound “ba” while the movement of the lips producing it corresponded to the sound “ga”, they actually heard the sound “da”.

Also, other studies show that wearing a mask impairs speech understanding, especially when there is noise, such as in class. “Thus, theoretically, it is more than conceivable to hypothesize a functional and structural impact on the cognitive and cerebral development of children wearing a mask twenty-four hours a week at least, and up to forty hours. for children attending extracurricular ”, is it indicated in the gallery.

An impact on emotional reading

In addition, scientists have been interested in the effect of the mask on attentional processing, emotional processing and social skills. Thus, the wearing of the mask in children would disturb emotional reading, according to a study by Claus-Christian Carbon.

Thanks to this forum, these three psychologists point the finger at this measure which could "Prove irreversible" on cognitive and brain development in children.

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