Rats with medial septal (MS) lesions have been shown to consistently use a stereotypic response strategy rather than a nonstereotypic spatial learning strategy when solving a radial maze task. The present study examined the long-term effects of MS lesions on spatial memory performance to determine whether MS lesions permanently impair rats from using a nonstereotypic strategy. Male rats, initially trained on a radial maze, were given either MS or sham surgeries and were subsequently retested on the maze. Consistent with previous studies, all rats with MS lesions used a stereotypic strategy during the postoperative retest. However, when placed through a series of retraining phases that required the rat to use a nonstereotypic strategy to solve the task, none of the MS rats could solve the task. These results indicate that lesions of the medial septum produce permanent spatial memory deficits that cannot be restored through extensive behavioral training.