Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) has emerged as a new regulatory molecule in the brain. Recently, some studies have shown a role for this molecule and its LPA(1) receptor in the regulation of plasticity and neurogenesis in the adult brain. However, no systematic studies have been conducted to investigate whether the LPA(1) receptor is involved in behavior. In this study, we studied the phenotype of maLPA(1)-null mice, which bear a targeted deletion at the lpa(1) locus, in a battery of tests examining neurologic performance, habituation in exploratory behavior in response to low and mild anxiety environments and spatial memory. MaLPA(1)-null mutants showed deficits in both olfaction and somesthesis, but not in retinal or auditory functions. Sensorimotor co-ordination was impaired only in the equilibrium and grasping reflexes. The mice also showed impairments in neuromuscular strength and analgesic response. No additional differences were observed in the rest of the tests used to study sensoriomotor orientation, limb reflexes and co-ordinated limb use. At behavioral level, maLPA(1)-null mice showed an impaired exploration in the open field and increased anxiety-like response when exposed to the elevated plus maze. Furthermore, the mice exhibit impaired spatial memory retention and reduced use of spatial strategies in the Morris water maze. We propose that the LPA(1) receptor may play a major role in both spatial memory and response to anxiety-like conditions.