In monkeys, section of the fornix, amygdala and anterior temporal stem results in a severe anterograde amnesia. Immunolesions of the cholinergic cells of the basal forebrain suggest that this amnesia is a result of isolating the inferior temporal cortex and medial temporal lobe from their cholinergic basal forebrain afferents. In this experiment, six monkeys were trained in a delayed match-to-sample task and then received a section of the medial forebrain bundle in one hemisphere and an ablation of either the frontal or inferior temporal cortex in the opposite hemisphere. All the animals were severely impaired in the performance of this task following this surgery, and the severity of the impairment was independent of the cortical area from which the medial forebrain bundle was disconnected. These results support a model of fronto-temporal interaction via the basal forebrain in new learning, in which midbrain sites related to reward modulate the cholinergic basal forebrain activity.