Several experiments examining the effects of diesel exhaust on the behavior of rats are reported. Animals were exposed either as adults or neonates. The spontaneous locomotor activity (SLA), measured in standard running wheel cages, of adult rats exposed for 8 h/day, 7 days/week was significantly less than that of controls. Experiments involving diesel exhaust exposure to neonatal rats indicated that adults rats, exposed to diesel exhaust during their neonatal lives, were significantly less active as measured by SLA. Adult rats, exposed to 20 h diesel per day as neonates, were placed in skinner boxes after the SLA experiment described above had been completed. The exhaust exposed animals showed significantly decreased acquisition of a food reinforce bar pressing task. All animals that learned this task extinguished at the same rate. The results of the neonatal diesel exhaust experiments support the hypothesis that diesel exhaust exposure during development of an organism can lead to behavioral differences in adulthood.