A delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task of abstract, visual memory was performed during the uptake period of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose. The increase in glucose uptake of cortical and subcortical regions ("activation") during the DMS task was compared with that during a control, immediate match-to-sample task using positron emission tomography. Both discriminant analysis and paired t tests supported the observation that the dorsolateral prefrontal area underwent the greatest activation, while a factor analysis revealed the functional correlation matrices of the tasks. Activations in the ventral premotor cortex and supramarginal and angular gyri were highly correlated with the change in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The basal forebrain/ventral pole region showed a smaller but independently significant change. The findings support the role of the dorsal prefrontal region in the nonspatial working memory of humans.