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Previous work has shown that immunohistochemical imaging of Fos protein is a reliable marker for changes in activity related to recognition memory in the perirhinal (PRH) cortex of the medial temporal lobe; however, whether PRH Fos expression is necessary for recognition memory had not been established. To investigate this potential requirement, antisense Fos oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) was infused locally into PRH cortex to interfere with Fos production. As in previous studies, differential Fos expression produced by viewing novel or familiar visual stimuli was measured by immunohistochemistry: antisense Fos ODN infusion into PRH cortex disrupted the normal pattern of differential Fos expression in PRH cortex. The effect of antisense Fos ODN infusion into PRH cortex was therefore sought on recognition memory. Infusion before or immediately after acquisition impaired recognition memory for objects when the memory delay was 3 or 24 h, but not when the delay was 20 min, or when the ODN was infused before retrieval after a 24-h delay. The findings indicate a role for Fos in consolidation processes underlying long-term recognition memory for objects and establish that interfering with its expression impairs recognition memory. Antisense Fos ODN infusion also impaired object-in-place recognition memory. The results demonstrate that Fos is necessary for neuronal mechanisms in PRH cortex essential to recognition memory. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.