Rats were trained to locate food in a response, direction, or place problem on an open field located at 2 positions. In Experiment 1, both the response and direction groups solved the problem. The place group failed to solve the task in approximately 300 trials. Experiment 2 demonstrated that rats need distinguishable start points to solve a place problem when neither a response nor a direction solution is available. Findings from Experiment 3 suggest that a combination of path traveled and distinct cues help to differentiate start points. Experiment 4 replicated the findings using a T maze. These results suggest "place" solutions are difficult for rats. The data are discussed with respect to conditional learning and modern spatial mapping theory.