Positron emission tomography studies of regional brain metabolic activity, cerebral blood flow and D2 dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenics and controls are reviewed. Methodological influences on the validity of the data generated by these technologies include problems with measurement as well as clinical and anatomical heterogeneity. Work in these fields to date, however, has produced strong support for the role of D2 dopamine receptor blockade in antipsychotic efficacy. Neuroleptic-induced changes in regional brain metabolism over time have also been observed; however, the relationship between such actions and symptomatic change needs to be further clarified. Future studies on time-course of neuroleptic-associated changes in regional brain metabolism, blood flow and dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenics have the potential to provide greater insight into the relationship of these actions to symptomatic changes and drug-induced side-effects.