Rats given unilateral medial agranular (AGm) cortex ablations show neglect for contralateral multimodal stimuli, symptoms that are reversed by 48 hr of light deprivation. To address processes that contribute to this restorative effect, both the rats' locomotion and basal ganglia c-fos expression were studied. AGm-lesioned rats showed less activity in continuous darkness than in normal (12 hr light/12 hr dark) cycles, and the reduced locomotion correlated with the extent of their subsequent behavioral recovery. The AGm ablation reduced the numbers of amphetamine-stimulated Fos-immunoreactive nuclei in the ipsilateral dorsolateral striatum, where the AGm innervation is normally densest. Light deprivation also reduced Fos in this striatal region and attenuated the lesion-induced hemispheric Fos asymmetry. A restored balance of activity between the 2 hemispheres, especially the basal ganglia, appears central to the action of light deprivation.