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The human brain produces a characteristic electrical response to relevant events that occur unexpectedly. Recent reports have suggested that a prominent part of this event-related brain potential—the P3 wave—may be related to memory functions and may arise from activity within the medial temporal lobe, especially the hippocampus. The latter idea was tested by means of epidural recordings of brain waves in monkeys. Responses to deviant auditory stimuli bore a close resemblance to P3 waves recorded from human subjects under comparable conditions. Monkeys with bilateral lesions of the medial temporal lobe still produced P3-like brain waves, which indicates that medial temporal brain structures are not critical for their generation.