Local rates of cerebral glucose utilization were measured in rats by the quantitative 2-deoxy-D-[14C]glucose autoradiographic method during electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area. Rats trained in intracranial self-stimulation showed a pattern of changes in forebrain metabolic activity distinctly different from the pattern seen in rats stimulated by the experimenter. These findings provide information about the distribution of local cerebral activity specific to reinforced instrumental behavior.