Rats that had recovered from pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency (PTD) were compared with controls for spatial, auditory, and olfactory serial reversal learning (SRL); spatial matching to sample (MTS); auditory go-no-go discrimination; and open-field exploration. PTD rats made more errors reaching criterion for SRL in all modalities but showed normal transfer effects between problems. PTD rats were also impaired in learning the go-no-go and MTS tasks and showed consistent alterations in exploratory activity. It is argued that the PTD rat, like human Korsakoff patients, have impairments of learning and memory (but spared capacity for reference memory) that extend across sensory modalities. Postmortem analyses showed normal indices of cortical cholinergic, noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic function and consistent bilateral lesions of the thalamus, which were centered on the internal medullary lamina, and the medial mammillary nucleus.