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Classical views of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) have established that it plays a crucial role in long-term memory (LTM) (e.g. Scoville and Milner, 1957). Here we demonstrate, in a sample of patients who have undergone anterior temporal lobectomy for the treatment of epilepsy, that the MTL additionally plays a specific, causal role in short-term memory (STM). Patients and healthy control participants performed a STM task with a sensitive continuous report measure. This paradigm allowed us to examine recall memory for object identity, location and object-location binding, independently on a trial-by-trial basis. The results point to a specific involvement of MTL in object-location binding, but, crucially, not retention of either object identity or location. These findings are consistent with results from investigations that have identified a role for the MTL in relational binding for LTM, supporting the proposal that MTL regions perform such a function for both STM and LTM (Esfahani-Bayerl et al., 2016a; Olson et al., 2006a, 2011; van Geldorp et al., 2014; Yonelinas, 2013). The methodology employed here may provide a simple, sensitive and clinically valuable means to test memory dysfunuction in MTL disorders. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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