Despite the benign prognosis regarding the response of seizures to treatment, some evidence now exists that patients with benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BCECTS) may have neuropsychological deficits sometimes leading to academic underachievement. There is, however, no general agreement on the exact profile of functions disturbed. This study was designed to identify significant deficits in spatial perception and memory in children with BCECTS (ages 6-10 years) compared with healthy controls matched for age, sex and socioeconomic status. The neuropsychological test battery administered consisted of the HAWIK-III, the "Tübinger Luria Christensen Neuropsychological Test Set for Children", the "Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children" and the "Differential Neuropsychological Test". Twenty-two patients and 22 control subjects completed all tests. Children with BCECTS exhibited significant deficits in higher functions of spatial perception, including spatial orientation, as well as in basal and complex spatial memory. Deficits were independent of the lateralization of the epileptogenic foci and independent of anti-convulsive drug treatment.