Damage to the human thalamus has been associated with selective anterograde recognition memory impairments. Recently, recognition memory has been subdivided into relational and non-relational memory. The aim of the present study was to assess the potentially differential involvement of the human thalamus in relational and non-relational memory. Ten patients with focal ischemic thalamic lesions were compared to individualized control groups of healthy subjects matched to each individual patient on age and IQ. Six patients showed poorer relational memory than their respective control samples. None of the 10 patients showed a significant deficit on the non-relational memory task. These observations suggest an involvement of the thalamus in relational memory, and are discussed in terms of disruption of mediotemporal-thalamic and thalamic-fronto-striatal circuits.