Rats with lesions of the anterior nuclei of the thalamus were trained postoperatively on two spatial conditional associative learning tasks. In the first task, the rats were required to choose one or the other of two objects depending on the location in which they were found. In the second task, the animals learned to turn left or right depending on which one of two visual cues was presented. A third experiment examined the effects of damage to the anterior thalamic nuclei on the eight-arm radial maze, a spatial working memory task. Damage of the anterior thalamic nuclei impaired performance on the radial maze task and the conditional task requiring associations between objects and their location. By contrast, rats with anterior thalamic lesions were able to acquire, at a rate comparable with that of operated control animals, the conditional task requiring associations between objects and body turns. These findings suggest that lesions to the anterior thalamic nuclei result in a general impairment in learning about allocentric spatial information without disrupting the learning of egocentric spatial information.