We tested the hypothesis that inhibition of NMDA-receptors in rats would lead to a selective impairment of reversal learning in a serial reversal task in the Skinner box. Low doses of MK-801 (0.025 and 0.05 mg/kg) did not affect acquisition of the two-lever discrimination, but impaired performance during the first reversal more than during the third reversal. Similar effects were observed during the series of extinction sessions. The high dose (0.1 mg/kg) completely inhibited reversal and extinction learning, as the rats perseverated in pressing the previously rewarded lever(s). We conclude that NMDA receptor blockade leads to a selective impairment in cognitive flexibility, and shows some similarity to transient inactivation of the medial prefrontal cortex in this respect.