Ten percent to 15% of glucose used by the brain is metabolized nonoxidatively despite adequate tissue oxygenation, a process termed aerobic glycolysis (AG). Because of the known role of glycolysis in biosynthesis, we tested whether learning-induced synaptic plasticity would lead to regionally appropriate, learningdependent changes in AG. Functional MRI (fMRI) before, during, and after performance of a visual-motor adaptation task demonstrated that left Brodmann area 44 (BA44) played a key role in adaptation, with learning-related changes to activity during the task and altered resting-state, functional connectivity after the task. PET scans before and after task performance indicated a sustained increase in AG in left BA 44 accompanied by decreased oxygen consumption. Intersubject variability in behavioral adaptation rate correlated strongly with changes in AG in this region, as well as functional connectivity, which is consistent with a role for AG in synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3782-E3791
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 28 2016


  • Aerobic glycolysis
  • Learning
  • Long-term depression
  • Long-term potentiation
  • PET


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