The effect of the nootropic drug pramiracetam (CI-879) on acquisition of a radial arm maze task was examined in the rat. Two doses of pramiracetam (7.5 mg/kg and 15 mg/kg) were administered daily prior to testing for 7 weeks in a 16-arm radial maze in which nine arms were baited with food. This procedure permitted a distinction between working memory (short-term) and reference memory (long-term). Both doses of pramiracetam significantly improved performance in the reference memory component of the task, but did not significantly affect the working memory component. These data indicate that pramiracetam can enhance some aspects of spatial learning and memory in the rat.