Rats with ibotenate lesions of either the medial striatum or the lateral striatum were trained in a forelimb reaching task and in acquisition, retention and reversal of either turn (left-right) discrimination or brightness (black-white) discrimination in a cross-shape maze. Compared with the controls, the rats with lesions of the medial striatum showed a reliable, modality-selective impairment in reversal of turn discrimination, but no significant impairment of reaching. In contrast, the rats with lateral striatal lesions showed a significant impairment of forelimb reaching, but not of reversal of either discriminations. Neither medial nor lateral lesions significantly affected acquisition and retention of both discriminations. The findings indicate a predominant role of the medial striatum in monitoring of directional responses, confirm the regionally specific role of the lateral striatum in reaching, and are interpreted to support the hypothesis of parallel motor and cognitive forebrain circuits comprising distinctive regions of the striatum.