Mrs Stephanie Hartgen-Walker

Mrs Stephanie Hartgen-Walker

Teaching and Research Associate (TARA)

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)




  • PhD Psychology, University of Plymouth, 2017 - present; "Extreme mental imagery: An exploration of aphantasia and its implications for cognition"
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), University of Plymouth, 2020, Distinction
  • MSc Psychological Research Methods, University of Plymouth, 2017, Distinction
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Plymouth, 2016, First Class Honours

Professional membership

  • Experimental Psychology Society Postgraduate Member
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellow


Teaching interests

As a Teaching and Research Associate, I lead and support workshops and offer one-to-one support in our undergraduate and master's programmes with a heavy focus on research methods and statistics. My teaching interests and skills include:
  • Experimental design, qualitative research (focus groups), and the research process
  • Regression, multiple regression, ANOVA, Bayesian statistics, thematic analysis
  • Science communication
  • RStudio
  • OpenSesame, JATOS
I typically teach on the following modules:
  • PSYC411: Learning
  • PSYC414: Relationships
  • PSYC516: Applied psychology
  • PSYC519, PSYC719, PSYC520, PSYC720: Research methods in practice


Research interests

Keywords: Mental imagery; extreme imagery; aphantasia
My research interests lie in the exploration of individual differences in mental imagery, with particular focus on the absence of imagery, known as aphantasia. For many, mental imagery is a ubiquitous feature of daily life, from trying to remember where you last had your keys, to visualising how best to rearrange your living room furniture. Imagery also serves as a component in several models of cognitive function and has a role in many interventions and clinical treatments. Thus, aphantasia is not only a fascinating phenomenon in its own right, it also has implications for our understanding of cognition and how we can manage when things go awry. 
I like to use a range of methods to explore the imagery spectrum, including self-report, large scale online behavioural experiments, lab-based behavioural experiments, and neuroimaging with electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERP). 
Research software
  • RStudio
  • Jamovi
  • OpenSesame
  • PsychoPy
  • Qualtrics