Granule cells of the dentate gyrus (DG) are thought to disambiguate similar experiences-a process termed pattern separation. Using zif268 as a marker of cellular activity, DG function was assessed in rats performing two tasks: a place task (go east) and a response task (turn right). As these tasks occurred within the same physical space (a plus maze) without any physical cue to indicate the correct strategy in a given trial, this scenario critically involves disambiguation of task demands and presumably pattern separation. Performance of the two tasks induced zif268 expression in distinct populations of granule cells within the suprapyramidal but not the infrapyramidal blade of the DG. Repeated performance of the same task (i.e., two response-task trials or two place-task trials), however, elicited zif268 expression within a single subset of the granule cell population. This differential transcription pattern shows that the retrieval of different behavioral strategies or mnemonic demands recruit distinct ensembles of granule cells, possibly to prevent interference between memories of events occurring within the same physical space to permit the selection of appropriate responses.