Abuse of volatile inhalants has become a worldwide issue mainly among adolescents of low income social class. Acute and chronic exposure to these substances results in serious neurological and behavioral impairments. Although real exposure consists largely of simultaneous inhalation of multiple solvents, the vast majority of basic research studies have evaluated the actions of a single volatile component leaving the behavioral and neuronal effects of chemical mixture not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the acute behavioral effects of 300, 450 and 600 ppm of paint thinner inhalation on anxiety, locomotor activity and spatial memory. Additionally, the cognitive impairments related to chronic exposure of the same concentrations of thinner for 45 days were assessed. To understand the neuronal correlates of acute exposure to thinner, we used c-Fos immunohistochemistry as an endogenous marker of neuronal activation following 600 ppm of thinner. The results reveal that (i) chronically thinner exposed mice showed cognitive deficits in Morris water maze and object recognition tasks; (ii) acute inhalation of thinner induces a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes include an anxiolytic effect toward the aversive environmental bright light and a dose dependent effect on explorative locomotion. The wide range of behavioral alterations induced by acute thinner inhalation is consistent with the widespread distribution of thinner-induced c-Fos expression in multiple brain structures.