BA Physiological Sciences 1991-94, DPhil in Neuroscience 1994-97, Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Scientist 1998-99, Prize Fellow 1999-2001, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow 2001-05, Royal Society University Research Fellow 2005-15, Associate Professor in Neuroscience 2014-19
Professor Kristine Krug first joined the Department in 1991 to undertake her Physiological Sciences undergraduate course with Dr Marianne Fillenz as her St Anne’s College Tutor. Dr Fillenz was to become a lifelong influence: “Her love of science, her clear and sharp way of thinking and her great interest in her students is something I still aspire to emulate.” Her undergraduate project was with Professor Ian Thompson on visual connections in the Hamster in the Laboratory of Physiology, before taking her DPhil in Neuroscience in the Thompson Lab on “Ordering geniculate input into primary visual cortex” funded by a Wellcome Trust Prize studentship. Her DPhil thesis won the Rolleston Memorial Prize of Oxford University and the British Neuroscience Association Prize for the most outstanding Thesis.
Following completion of her DPhil studies in 1997, Professor Krug left the Department briefly for a postdoctoral scholarship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. In late 1998, she returned to the Laboratory in Physiology as a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Scientist to work with Professor Andrew Parker and Dr Bruce Cumming on the neural basis of 3D vision in primates, sparking a long scientific collaboration. In 1999, she became a Prize Fellow at Magdalen College. In 2001, Professor Krug started her own lab in the former Fillenz Group space as a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow. In 2004, she made the important discovery that functional brain connectivity is highly malleable by task context (Journal of Neurophysiology, 92, 2004), showing that single brain cells can one moment contribute to 3D-Perception and in the very next moment carry strong signals monkeys cannot see. This inspired further work on how the role of individual visual neurons is governed by neural interactions (see Professor Krug’s single author review in the Annual Review of Vision Science, 6, 2020). In 2005, she became a Royal Society University Research Fellow for the next ten years, working on cortical codes for perception and decision-making, including shaping complex 3D percepts by inserting small electrical currents directly into the primate brain (see Current Biology, 23, 2013). Alongside these positions, she also held a Hayward Junior Research Fellowship (2002-2006) followed by a Senior Research Fellowship at Oriel College (2006-2019), where she was also Tutorial Fellow (2011-2019). In 2009/2010, she was a visiting researcher at the National Eye Institute/NIH in Bethesda. In 2014, Professor Krug was conferred the title of Associate Professor in Neuroscience at DPAG. Throughout her time with DPAG, she worked extensively with Patricia Cordery on a number of histology projects: “Pat not only taught me histology, but also about Jane Austen, The Archers and Radio 4. My English education is almost entirely down to her.”
In 2019, Professor Krug conducted her largest study to date (PNAS, 116, 2019), that aimed to shed light on how social influence biases even the most simple perceptual decisions. The study involved more than 150 children aged 6-14 years. The findings showed that neurotypical teenagers systematically integrate social influence to bias their visual perception, even when it is wrong. Younger children and autistic children were found to form physically true perceptions.
In 2018, Professor Krug was awarded a Heisenberg-Professorship by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) to move to Germany. In 2019, she took up the Chair in Sensory Physiology at the Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg. There, she runs her own department within the Institute of Biology, alongside having been appointed an “auswärtiges wissenschaftliches Mitglied” (external scientific member) at the Leibniz-Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg, where she has her own unit for research with Rhesus macaques. Magdeburg is international renowned for high-field MR imaging and offered her the opportunity to work with primates in customized 7T MR scanners. There, she is currently investigating the neural basis of perceptual decisions in primates, from single neurons through circuits to behaviour.