The effects of cytotoxic lesions in either the anterior cingulate cortex or the retrosplenial cortex were compared with those of fornix lesions on three tests of spatial memory. Two of the tasks, delayed nonmatching-to-position and spatial reversal learning, were tested in an automated apparatus. The third task, forced alternation, was tested in a T-maze. Neither anterior cingulate nor retrosplenial cortex damage produced any significant impairment on the three tasks. In contrast, rats with fornix lesions (hippocampal system damage) were markedly impaired on all three tasks. The results, which were considered in the light of proposals for a hippocampal--anterior thalamic--cingulate system that is important for spatial memory, suggest that neither of the cingulate regions involved in this study form a critical subcomponent of this proposed system. It is therefore assumed that the cingulate cortices are only critical for certain classes of spatial problem. It is also suggested that in some previous studies the effects of inadvertent damage to the cingulum bundle may have contributed to the apparent effects of cingulate lesions.