In humans, distinct processes within the hippocampus and rhinal cortex support declarative memory formation. But do these medial temporal lobe (MTL) substructures directly cooperate in encoding new memories? Phase synchronization of gamma-band electroencephalogram (EEG) oscillations (around 40 Hz) is a general mechanism of transiently connecting neural assemblies. We recorded depth-EEG from within the MTL of epilepsy patients performing a memorization task. Successful as opposed to unsuccessful memory formation was accompanied by an initial elevation of rhinal-hippocampal gamma synchronization followed by a later desynchronization, suggesting that effective declarative memory formation is accompanied by a direct and temporarily limited cooperation between both MTL substructures.