Apoptosis is an important process in the development and function of the central nervous system (CNS). To study the role of DNA fragmentation factor 45 (DFF45/ICAD) in CNS function, we previously generated DFF45 knockout mice. We found that whereas they exhibit apparently normal CNS development, DFF45 knockout mice exhibit an increased number of granule cells in the dentate gyrus and enhanced spatial learning and memory compared to wild-type mice in a Morris water maze test. In this study, we examined the performance of the DFF45 knockout mice in a novel object recognition task to measure short-term nonspatial memory that is believed to depend on the hippocampal formation. Both wild-type and DFF45 knockout mice exhibited novel object recognition 1 h posttraining. However, whereas wild-type mice no longer did so, DFF45 knockout mice were still able to differentiate the novel versus the familiar object 3 h posttraining. The longer memory retention in DFF45 knockout mice did not last up to 24 h as neither wild-type nor DFF45 knockout mice demonstrated novel object recognition 24 h posttraining. These results suggest that a lack of DFF45 facilitates hippocampus-dependent nonspatial memory, as well as hippocampus-dependent spatial memory. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.