The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory, but the precise nature of that involvement remains uncertain. Transection of the perforant path, a primary input pathway to the hippocampus, has been shown to produce changes in reaction to novelty and acquisition of active avoidance; the nature and magnitude of these changes vary with lateral or medial perforant path damage. In a series of experiments on adult rats, the role of these pathways in spontaneous alternation, exploration, acquisition and extinction of conditioned responses, passive avoidance, and conditioned taste aversion was investigated. Lateral transection reduced exploration while medial transection facilitated acquisition of an active avoidance response; no effects were observed on any other measure. Results are discussed in terms of what perforant path damage might reveal regarding the interactions of the hippocampus with other brain regions.