A consistent impairment in odor identification was observed among a group of 21 amnesic patients, diagnosed as having Korsakoff's psychosis. In a subsequent study of eight Korsakoff and matched alcoholic control subjects, a comparable olfactory deficit was again demonstrated, as well as impairment in color discrimination and auditory perception. No such deficit was observed for a picture identification task designed to control for the non-sensory demands of the olfactory test. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed a significant correlation between odor identification scores and the concentration of the primary metabolite of norepinephrine in lumbar cerebrospinal fluid. The data demonstrate a consistent coincidence between memory impairment and deficient sensory perception among patients with Korsakoff's psychosis.