Neurofibrillary tangles, insoluble protein deposits composed of filamentous tau aggregates, are neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease and familial frontotemporal dementia (FTDP-17). Transgenic mice expressing the FTDP-17 mutation P301L of tau recapitulate key features of the human pathology, that is, tau proteins aggregate and neurofibrillary tangles begin to appear in the amygdala at 6 months of age. To detect early signs of tau aggregate-associated changes, we investigated behavioral alterations and cognitive deficits in such mice using an amygdala-specific test battery for anxiety-related and cognitive behavior. P301L mice had anxiety levels not different from wild-types, but their exploratory behavior was significantly increased. Acquisition of a fear response to tone and context as well as taste aversion was comparable to wild-types. However, extinction of a conditioned taste aversion was significantly accelerated. We conclude that already aggregation of tau proteins not yet accompanied by massive formation of neurofibrillary tangles causes selective behavioral deficits.