The neuropathological hallmark shared between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and familial frontotemporal dementia (FTDP-17) are neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) which are composed of filamentous aggregates of the microtubule-associated protein tau. Their formation has been reproduced in transgenic mice, which express the FTDP-17-associated mutation P301L of tau. In these mice, tau aggregates are found in many brain areas including the hippocampus and the amygdala, both of which are characterized by NFT formation in AD. Previous studies using an amygdala-specific test battery revealed an increase in exploratory behavior and an accelerated extinction of conditioned taste aversion in these mice. Here, we assessed P301L mice in behavioral tests known to depend on an intact hippocampus. Morris water maze and Y-maze revealed intact spatial working memory but impairment in spatial reference memory at 6 and 11 months of age. In addition, a modest disinhibition of exploratory behavior at 6 months of age was confirmed in the open field and the elevated O-maze and was more pronounced during aging.