Positron emission tomography using [18F]deoxyglucose (FDG) as a marker of regional brain metabolism was used to investigate the neural substrate of stuttering. Four patients with severe developmental stuttering were studied while reading aloud to another person (stuttering condition) and while reading aloud in unison with someone else (non-stuttering condition). The patients were also compared with four normal controls reading aloud by themselves. In the stuttering condition, significant decreases in regional glucose metabolism in Broca's area, Wernicke's area and frontal pole were seen compared with themselves while not stuttering. These differences were also seen in stuttering condition compared with normal controls. Significantly lower left caudate metabolism was seen in patients during both stuttering and non-stuttering conditions compared with normal controls. A circuit for stuttering is proposed based on these findings.