We used two procedures to assess the spatial learning and memory of rats in the Morris water maze task subsequent to kindling of hippocampal field CA1: (1) seizures were kindled with stimulation of CA1 prior to training in the water maze (acquisition); and (2) maze training was imposed until performance stabilized, seizures were kindled with stimulation of CA1, and then performance in the maze was reassessed (retention). In both conditions, behavioral testing occurred 24 h after the last kindled seizure. When the effects of CA1 kindling on acquisition were tested, we found that kindling of generalized seizures with stimulation of field CA1 (kindling), but not kindling of non-convulsive or partial seizures (partial kindling), produced deficits in the water maze. When the effects of CA1 kindling on retention were tested, however, we found that kindling of either partial or generalized seizures produced deficits in the water maze. The results suggest that the processing of spatial information is vulnerable to the long-lasting changes in neural excitability associated with kindling.