Background and Purpose Cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury and stroke often involve alterations in cholinergic signalling. Currently available therapeutic drugs provide only symptomatic relief. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies are needed to retard and/or arrest the progressive loss of memory. Experimental Approach Scopolamine-induced memory impairment provides a rapid and reversible phenotypic screening paradigm for cognition enhancement drug discovery. Male C57BL/6J mice given scopolamine (1 mg·kg-1) were used to evaluate the ability of LS-1-137, a novel sigma (σ1) receptor-selective agonist, to improve the cognitive deficits associated with muscarinic antagonist administration. Key Results LS-1-137 is a high-affinity (Ki = 3.2 nM) σ1 receptor agonist that is 80-fold selective for σ1, compared with σ2 receptors. LS-1-137 binds with low affinity at D2-like (D2, D3 and D4) dopamine and muscarinic receptors. LS-1-137 was found to partially reverse the learning deficits associated with scopolamine administration using a water maze test and an active avoidance task. LS-1-137 treatment was also found to trigger the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor from rat astrocytes. Conclusions and Implications The σ1 receptor-selective compound LS-1-137 may represent a novel candidate cognitive enhancer for the treatment of muscarinic receptor-dependent cognitive deficits.