A nonlinear detection technique designed for multiple-antenna assisted receivers employed in space-division multiple-access systems is investigated. We derive the optimal solution of the nonlinear spatial-processing assisted receiver for binary phase shift keying signalling, which we refer to as the Bayesian detector. It is shown that this optimal Bayesian receiver significantly outperforms the standard linear beamforming assisted receiver in terms of a reduced bit error rate, at the expense of an increased complexity, while the achievable system capacity is substantially enhanced with the advent of employing nonlinear detection. Specifically, when the spatial separation expressed in terms of the angle of arrival between the desired and interfering signals is below a certain threshold, a linear beamformer would fail to separate them, while a nonlinear detection assisted receiver is still capable of performing adequately. The adaptive implementation of the optimal Bayesian detector can be realized using a radial basis function network. Two techniques are presented for constructing block-data-based adaptive nonlinear multiple-antenna assisted receivers. One of them is based on the relevance vector machine invoked for classification, while the other on the orthogonal forward selection procedure combined with the Fisher ratio class-separability measure. A recursive sample-by-sample adaptation procedure is also proposed for training nonlinear detectors based on an amalgam of enhanced-means clustering techniques and the recursive least squares algorithm.