Theoretical models and experimental evidence have suggested that connections from the dentate gyrus (DG) to CA3 play important roles in representing orthogonal information (i.e., pattern separation) in the hippocampus. However, the effects of eliminating the DG on neural firing patterns in the CA3 have rarely been tested in a goal-directed memory task that requires both the DG and CA3. In this study, selective lesions in the DG were made using colchicine in male Long-Evans rats, and single units from the CA3 were recorded as the rats performed visual scene memory tasks. The original scenes used in training were altered during testing by blurring to varying degrees or by using visual masks, resulting in maximal recruitment of the DG-CA3 circuits. Compared with controls, the performance of rats with DG lesions was particularly impaired when blurred scenes were used in the task. In addition, the firing-rate modulation associated with visual scenes in these rats was significantly reduced in the single units recorded from the CA3 when ambiguous scenes were presented, largely because DG-deprived CA3 cells did not show stepwise, categorical rate changes across varying degrees of scene ambiguity compared with controls. These findings suggest that the DG plays key roles not only during the acquisition of scene memories but also when modified visual scenes are processed in conjunction with the CA3 by making the CA3 network respond orthogonally to ambiguous scenes.