Under the guidance of Dr. Martin Sarter and Ph.D. candidate Eryn Donovan, Sarah Klausner has been organizing and collecting data for her honors thesis focused on the cognitive impact of genetic variants of the high-affinity choline transporter (CHT). CHT directly affects the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, disruptions to which have been associated with an array of cognitive disorders including ADHD and depression. Klausner is researching the behavioral impacts of mice genetically modified to express the CHT mutation Val89, which has been linked to increased distractibility in humans. Her experiment aims to determine whether mice with the Val89 mutation will perform significantly worse than non-mutated mice in a task requiring sustained attention in the presence of a distractor. Last summer Sarah continued her research as part of LSA’s Summer Honors Fellowship. Over the coming year she will finish collecting data and running statistical analyses in hopes of contributing the work to a future  publication from the Sarter lab.