Brain alpha1-adrenoceptors have been shown to be essential for motor activity and movement in mice using intraventricular injection of alpha1-antagonists. To facilitate subsequent neuroanatomical mapping of these receptors, the present study was undertaken to replicate these effects in the rat. Rats were administered the alpha1-antagonist, terazosin, in the absence and presence of the alpha1-agonist, phenylephrine, in the IVth ventricle and were tested for their motor activity responses to an environmental change. Terazosin was found to produce a dose-dependent, virtually complete cessation of behavioral activity that was reversed by coinfusion of phenylephrine. The results could not be explained by sedation. It is concluded that central alpha1-adrenoceptors are essential for behavioral activation in rats as in mice.