Assessing Speech Intelligibility with Mask Materials

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis examine how different materials used in popular mask designs may impact speech intelligibility.

We already know it’s harder to understand speech when you’re wearing a mask,” said Kristin Van Engen , assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences and of linguistics in Arts & Sciences. “We’re exploring the extent to which different masks affect one’s ability to understand speech in background noise — both in terms of how many words you can recognize and in terms of how difficult the task feels.”