The amnesic effects of excitotoxic lesions of the rat retrosplenial cortex (RS) and hippocampus (HPC) in the spontaneous object recognition (SOR) performance were investigated. The SOR test consisted of the sample-exposure session(s) and a test session. First, to test retrograde amnesia, rats received four sample-exposure sessions within a day at 4 weeks and 1 day before the surgery, respectively. In the test sessions conducted 1 week after the surgery, both lesion groups showed a temporally ungraded retrograde amnesia. Second, to test anterograde amnesia, 1- and 4-week retention intervals were inserted between the four sample-exposure sessions and the test session. The RS-lesioned rats showed a retention interval-dependent impairment in the test sessions, while the HPC-lesioned rats showed an impairment regardless of the retention interval. Finally, to test short-term recognition memory, 5- or 30-min delay was interposed between the single sample-exposure session and the test session. Both lesion groups performed normally irrespective of the delay length. These results suggest that both the RS and HPC are important for long-term object recognition memory, but these areas have different roles in it. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.