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Athabasca University

Dr. Faria Sana

Assistant Professor, Psychology



I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Athabasca University. My research encompasses categorization, comparison, exemplar-based learning, and metaphor and compound processing. I received my Ph.D. in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour from McMaster University in 2015, where I examined cognitive processes that facilitate or impair long-term memory. I then spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, where I studied cognitive mechanisms that influence language comprehension. I joined the Psychology department at Athabasca University in 2016, where I established the Cognition & Memory (CogMem) Research Lab. Students and researchers interested in collaborating in the CogMem Lab should contact me at

My research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Fellowship, and has been featured in popular media outlets such as the Canadian Press, CTV, CBC, and the Globe and Mail.

Selected Publications:

Sana, F., Yan, V.X., & Kim, J.A. (in press). Study sequence matters for the inductive learning of cognitive concepts. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Fenesi, B., & Sana, F. (2015). What is your degree worth? The relationship between post–secondary programs and employment outcomes. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(4), 383-399.

Fenesi, B., Sana, F., Shore, D.I., & Kim, J.A. (2015). Reconceptualizing working memory in educational research. Educational Psychology Review, 27(2), 333-351.

Fenesi, B., Sana, F., & Kim, J.A. (2014). Evaluating the effectiveness of combining the use of corrective feedback and high-level practice questions. Teaching of Psychology, 41(2), 135-143.

Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N.J. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education, 62, 24-31.

Sana, F., & Fenesi, B. (2013). Grade 12 vs. Grade 13: Benefits of an extra year of high school. The Journal of Educational Research, 106(5), 384-392.

Sana, F., & Kim. J.A. (2011). Number and content variability of instructive examples promote structure-based learning. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education, 2(3). 

Sana, F., Pachai, M.V., & Kim, J.A. (2011). Training undergraduate teaching assistants in a peer mentor course. Transformative Dialogues, 4(3).

Sana, F., Fenesi, B., & Kim, J.A. (2011). Blended learning. A case study at McMaster University. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2(1). 

Updated May 06 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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