Abstract Knife cuts were made that preferentially interrupted (a) the nigrostriatal pathway; (b) pallidofugal projections to the lower brainstem; (c) caudate-pallidal interconnections; and (d) fibers entering or leaving the striatum ventrally. The effects of these cuts on conditioned (shuttle box) avoidance, passive avoidance, swimming escape, sucrose-rewarded alley running, locomotor activity, and various measures of sensory-motor function were examined. The norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin content of the striatum, residual forebrain and hypothalamus were determined following the completion of behavioral testing. The pattern of results suggests that striatal functions which are significantly influenced by several afferent and efferent connections are essential for the acquisition and, perhaps, execution of complex behavior in appetitive as well as aversive test paradigms. A special role for the dopaminergic afferents to the striatum was not established in these tests.