The present study was undertaken to examine possible aluminum (Al) accumulation in the brain of rats and to investigate whether subchronic exposure to the metal leads to behavioral and neurophysiological changes in both treated and control groups. Each of the groups consisted of 10 animals. Aluminum chloride (AICl(3)) at a low (50 mg/kg/d) or high (200 mg/kg/d) dose was applied to male Wistar rats by gavage for 8 wk. Al-free water by gavage was given to the control group throughout the experiment. Behavioral effects were evaluated by open-field (OF) motor activity and by acoustic startle response (ASR). Electrophysiological examination was done by recording spontaneous activity and sensory-evoked potentials from the visual, somatosensory, as well as auditory cortex. The Al content of each whole brain was determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Subchronic Al exposure slightly caused some changes in the evoked potentials and electrocorticograms and in the OF and ASR performance, but these results were not statistically significant. The brain Al levels of the control and the low and high dose of Al-exposed groups were measured as 0.717+/-0.208 mug/g (wet weight), 0.963+/-0.491 mug/g (wet weight) and 1.816+/-1.157 mug/g (wet weight), respectively.