Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was investigated in a group of medicated DSM-III-R schizophrenic patients and age, sex and handedness matched normal volunteers using a split-dose 99mTc-HMPAO Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPET) protocol. Measures were taken during the performance of a verbal memory task aimed at activating the left medial temporal lobe, a region repeatedly suggested to be structurally abnormal in schizophrenia. In normal subjects, the performance of the task was associated with significant rCBF increases in the left medial temporal, left inferior frontal and anterior cingulate cortices, and right cerebellum. Despite their significantly poorer performance on the memory task, the degree of medial temporal activation measured in the schizophrenic patients was not significantly different from that found in the control group. This finding suggests that memory deficits in schizophrenia do not necessarily imply failure to activate the left medial temporal lobe as assessed by 99mTc-HMPAO SPET.