Introduction: Although abundant research delving into the acute exercise-induced modulation of cognitive performance and the P300-ERP component has been conducted, there is a lack of consensus regarding whether or not this type of intervention has a beneficial effect on cognition and how it relates to the P300-ERP. Methods: To examine the possible sources of this discrepancy, we conducted a meta-analysis of ERP results together with cognitive performance that were systemically stratified by relevant demographic and methodological moderators. Results: Our results indicate that while acute exercise exerted an overall stable effect on cognitive improvement, associated with enlarged P300 amplitudes, the effect size varied across factors of age, biological sex, exercise intensity, exercise type, control type, and experimental design. Future research taking into consideration modulating factors as to avoid misestimating the beneficial effects of acute exercise are encouraged. Conclusion: All in all, and to our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis quantitatively summarizing the relevant literature on the associations between P300-ERP correlates, acute exercise, and its positive influence on attention and cognitive performance in healthy individuals.
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