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Table 1 Examples of recent studies using traditional board games

From: Special series on “effects of board games on health education and promotion” board games as a promising tool for health promotion: a review of recent literature

Authors (years) Countries Study design Subjects or materials Outcomes or variables Impact
Fuentes JP et al. (2018) [10] Spain Experimental, single case Expert chess player, male, 33 years old EEG changes, decreased heart rate variability Increased cortical arousal by critical flicker fusion threshold, decreased heart rate variability during chess play
Barzegar K & Barzegar S (2017) [11] Iran Clinical case Middle-aged man with panic attack after post-traumatic stress Clinical course, including subjective physical symptoms No symptom of nausea, vomiting, or panic attack after cell-phone chess play
Schaigorodsky AL et al. (2016) [12] Argentina Database 1.4 million chess games played by humans Long-range correlations, inter-event time distributions Cattuto’s model well described long-range memory used in opening chess lines
Chassy P & Gobet F (2015) [13] UK Database 667,599 chess games played by experts from 11 civilizations Conflict avoidance, risk-taking behaviors during open aggression Buddhist experts used riskiest strategy nearly 35% more vs. Jewish experts
Sheridan H & Reingold EM (2014) [14] Canada Experimental 41 chess players (17 experts, 24 novices) Eye movements in 8 chess problems Only experts distinguished relevant and irrelevant information during early trial
Moxley JH & Charness N (2013) [15] USA Meta-analysis 4 studies of age and skill effects in chess Age, chess skill, move selection, chess recall Best-move, recall tasks associated negatively with aging, positively with skill
Leone MJ et al. (2012) [16] Argentina Experimental 25 chess games played by 9 subjects Heart rate variation Heart rate signals relevant cognitive episodes, e.g., objective choice correctness events
Barradas-Bautista D et al. (2018) [17] Mexico Computer simulation Ising Hamiltonian model of black, white Go stones fighting Two-player scenarios, cancer vs. immune system Go, Ising model provided elements for characterization of cancer invasion, reduction, metastasis
Bae J et al. (2017) [18] Republic of Korea Questionnaire survey 63 subjects predicting outcome of AlpaGo vs. Sedol Lee match Network density, game predictions Game predictions more accurate in low-density vs. high-density group
Silver D et al. (2016) [19] UK AI Go program Search algorithm of Monte Carlo simulation and networks Go win rate AlphaGo had 99.8% win rate against other Go programs, defeated human Go champion
Lin Q et al. (2015) [20] China RCT 147 patients with Alzheimer’s disease Cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, serum BDNF level Go ameliorated Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, with BDNF up-regulation
Kim SH et al. (2014) [21] Republic of Korea Case-control study 17 children with ADHD, 17 age-, sex-matched controls Cognitive function, brain EEG changes during Go play–based education Right theta/beta change in prefrontal cortex during study period greater in ADHD group
Jung WH et al. (2013) [22] Republic of Korea Experimental 17 Go experts Structural, functional MRI during working memory tasks Experts had increased gray-matter volume, functional connectivity around amygdala
Lee MK et al. (2012) [23] Republic of Korea Clinical case 11 patients with reflex epilepsy, including 6 male Go players MRI, EEG with clinical course Individualized strategies like game avoidance most effectively prevented seizures
Tanaka K (2018) [24] Japan Review Summary of data from [26, 27, 30] fMRI changes in game situations Cingulate cortex essential for intuitive, strategic decision making for any given Shogi board position
Nakao M et al. (2017) [25] Japan Protocol, RCT 65 men aged ≥65 years Cognitive-behavioral attitudes, depression, anxiety, well-being Depression, anxiety levels lower during 6-week Shogi stress management program
Wan X et al. (2016) [26] China Experimental 17 professional, 17 amateur Shogi players, 19 novices fMRI signals during problem-solving tasks In professional group, rostral frontal cortex activated only in post-decision period
Wan X et al. (2015) [27] China Experimental 17 amateur Shogi players fMRI signals during quick offense-vs.-defense strategy decisions Rostral anterior, posterior cingulate cortices encoded defense, attack strategy values
Nakanishi H & Yamaguchi Y (2014) [28] Japan Experimental 12 professional, 12 amateur Shogi players, 12 novices EEG responses in quick understanding of Shogi game patterns Frontal area responded only to meaningful game positions, in contrast to temporal area
Aoyagi M & Ogawa T (2013) [29] Japan Clinical case Man with Alzheimer’s disease aged 75–79 years Frequent chewing for aspiration pneumonia prevention Shogi play encouragement useful for education about frequent, smooth chewing during eating
Wan X et al. (2012) [30] Japan Experimental 20 men aged 20–22 years with little Shogi knowledge fMRI changes during Shogi training period Activation in caudate nucleus head developed over training course
Duan X et al. (2014) [31] China Experimental 20 expert Chinese-chess players, 20 novices Functional connectivity networks assessed by fMRI Increased connectivity between basal ganglia, thalamus, hippocampus and parietal, temporal areas in experts
Panphunpho S et al. (2013) [32] Thailand RCT 20 elderly Ska players, 20 elderly controls Cognitive function (memory, attention, executive function) 16-week Ska group joiners had significantly better cognitive function scores
van den Dries S & Wiering MA (2012) [33] The Netherlands Computer algorithms of learning to play Othello Combination of three structured neural network techniques Evaluation functions (simple linear networks, multilayered perceptions) Method outperforms linear networks, fully connected neural networks or evaluation functions evolved with algorithms