In Experiment 1, rats were trained on a discrimination between rubber- and sandpaper-covered arms of a maze after one group had been pre-exposed to these intra-maze cues. Pre-exposure facilitated subsequent discrimination learning, unless the discrimination was made easier by adding further discriminative stimuli, when it now significantly retarded learning. In Experiment 2, rats were trained on an extra-maze spatial discrimination, again after one group, but not another, had been pre-exposed to the extra-maze landmarks. Here too, pre-exposure facilitated subsequent discrimination learning, unless the discrimination was made substantially easier by arranging that the two arms between which rats had to choose were always separated by 135 degrees. The results of both experiments can be explained by supposing that perceptual learning depends on the presence of features common to S+ and S-.