A technique is described for producing accurate stereotaxic lesions of the hippocampus in monkeys. This technique overcomes the problem that the size and shape of the brain can vary considerably from monkey to monkey. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to create an individual brain atlas for each monkey. The atlas is then used to derive coordinates for making stereotaxic radio frequency lesions of the hippocampus. There are two key features of this procedure. First, a specially-designed, acrylic, stereotaxic headholder was constructed that could be used safely with the MR magnet. Second, small glass beads, anchored to the skull of the monkey, served as common landmarks from which lesion coordinates were determined in the MR images and then again in neurosurgery. MRI techniques are also described for determining the extent of tissue damage postoperatively. This technique could also prove useful in other areas of neuroscience research that depend on accurate stereotaxic placement of electrodes (e.g., electrophysiological studies and neuroanatomic tracing studies).