Invariance of object recognition to translation in the visual field is a fundamental property of human pattern vision. In three experiments we investigated this capability by training subjects to distinguish between random checkerboard stimuli. We show that the improvement of discrimination performance does not transfer across the visual field if learning is restricted to a particular location in the retinal image. Accuracy after retinal translation shows no sign of decay over time and remains at the same level it had at the beginning of the training. It is suggested that in two–dimensional translation invariance–as in three–dimensional rotation invariance—the human visual system is relying on memory–intensive rather than computation–intensive processes. Multiple position–and stimulus specific learning events may be required before recognition is independent of retinal location.