A recent meta-analysis (Stanmore et al. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 78:34–43, 2017) claimed that exergames exert medium-size positive effects on people's overall cognitive function. The present article critically tests this claim. We argue that the meta-analysis reported inflated effect sizes mainly for three reasons: (a) some effect sizes were miscalculated; (b) there was an excessive amount of true heterogeneity; and (c) no publication-bias-corrected estimates were provided. We have thus recalculated the effect sizes and reanalyzed the data using a more robust approach and more sophisticated techniques. Compared to Stanmore's et al., our models show that: (a) the overall effect sizes are substantially smaller; (b) the amount of true heterogeneity, when any, is much lower; and (c) the publication-bias analyses suggest that the actual effect of exergames on overall cognitive function is slim to null. Therefore, the cognitive benefits of exergames are far from being established.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience