Abstract: How do the structures of the medial temporal lobe contribute to memory? To address this question, we examine the neurophysiological correlates of both recognition and associative memory in the medial temporal lobe of humans, monkeys, and rats. These cross-species comparisons show that the patterns of mnemonic activity observed throughout the medial temporal lobe are largely conserved across species. Moreover, these findings show that neurons in each of the medial temporal lobe areas can perform both similar as well as distinctive mnemonic functions. In some cases, similar patterns of mnemonic activity are observed across all structures of the medial temporal lobe. In the majority of cases, however, the hippocampal formation and surrounding cortex signal mnemonic information in distinct, but complementary ways.