Want to be a Guitar Hero? Despite the things you've heard about avoiding exciting video games near bed time, researchers at Trent University in Ontario have discovered a method to use the game Guitar Hero to find out if there's a link between a good night's sleep and improved test scores.
Guitar Hero requires complex motor skills. Dictionary.com describes motor skills as: "the ability to perform complex muscle-and-nerve acts that produce movement; fine motor skills are small movements like writing and tying shoes, gross motor skills are large movements like walking and kicking."
Students who learned a song in the evening followed by a good night's sleep were tested against students who learned a song in the morning followed by regular daytime activities. Those who learned the material before sleeping managed a better performance the next day than those who studied the material in the morning and were tested that evening. This is sometimes called sleep learning.
Therefore, it follows that students who study school subjects in the evening and then "sleep on it" will have greater recall of the material than those who spend the morning of the test trying to cram the knowledge into their brains.
However, there are other reasons Guitar Hero is preferable than many other video games. Where some games promote violence and crime, Guitar Hero has helped rekindle an interest in music in children. It has also been used to help develop motor skills in patients recovering from injuries and illnesses.
So, if you want to become a Guitar Hero, go ahead and give it a try. It's becoming a part of our culture.