Dr. Faria Sana is the director of the lab. She received her PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (McMaster University), and completed an Izaak Walton Killam Fellowship at the University of Alberta. She is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Athabasca University, and an Adjunct Professor in Psychology at McMaster University and at the University of Alberta. Dr. Sana translates basic research in memory and attention into applied educational contexts to promote durable and efficient student learning. Her research program is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Her research has garnered widespread media attention (e.g., CBC, BBC, The New York Times) and major policy changes (e.g., on laptop usage in schools and universities) around the world. Dr. Sana works closely with academics and educators to bridge the gap between research and practice, and ensures that findings from cognitive science are disseminated and applied appropriately.
Dr. Sana co-supervises graduate students in Psychology at McMaster University and at the University of Alberta. These students examine how different types of teaching and learning methods affect retention of information.
Each year Dr. Sana supervises several undergraduate students who are interested in being part of the research lab. Some of these students are research volunteers and research assistants, and others are enrolled in lab practicum or honours thesis courses. All students receive training in obtaining research ethics, collecting participant data, dealing with participants, analyzing and interpreting data, writing scientific papers, and presenting findings at local conferences.
Science and practice are enriched by collaboration among educators and researchers with diverse, but complementary perspectives. There are several ways to frame a research question, measure a construct, conduct well-designed studies, and analyze and interpret the data. Research collaborations make it possible to strength the overall theoretical and practical contributions to the fields of cognitive science and educational psychology. Several projects in this lab are conducted in collaboration with researchers (e.g., Dr. Elizabeth Bjork, Dr. Robert Bjork, Dr. Joe Kim, Dr. Veronica Yan, Dr. Melody Wiseheart), and teachers from various school boards (e.g., Toronto District School Board, St. Albert Catholic School District, Halton District School Board).