The goal of this work was to establish the effects of irradiation of the head with gamma-rays on selected forms of innate behavior, as well as on the habituation process to new environment in the open field test in rats. During a 5-day control period behavioral parameters reflecting motoric and explorative activities, as well as anxiety (6 parameters in total) were followed daily in 20 male Sprague-Dawley rats in an open field. Fourteen animals were repeatedly tested after irradiation of the head with a single dose of 10 Gy of gamma-rays. The results showed statistically significant depression of motoric and explorative activities during the first 3 days after irradiation in comparison with the control period. After irradiation the level of anxiety was elevated. Habituation to a new environment was observed in non-irradiated, but not in irradiated animals. These results suggest that the applied dose of ionizing radiation influenced the brain centers involved in control of innate behavioral functions connected with response to a new environment in rats.