||Bilateral intrathalamic microinjections of nanogram amounts (5–50 ng) of muscimol, a γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) receptor agonist, elicited catalepsy in rats. Like neuroleptic-treated rats, those injected with muscimol in the thalamus remained suspended on a vertical grid but, unlike opioid-treated rats, they failed to remain horizontal on two book-holders. The righting reflex was present, while ptosis was absent. The areas with the highest sensitivity to the cataleptogenic effects of muscimol were the ventromedial and ventral-anterior nuclei of the thalamus. These thalamic areas were also characterized by the shortest latency for the induction of catalepsy. Injection of up to 50 ng of muscimol into the caudate, globus pallidus or entopeduncular nucleus failed to produce catalepsy. Catalepsy was also obtained after intrathalamic microinjection of other GABA analogs, such as 3-aminopropanesulphonic and imidazolacetic acid, which are known to be potent GABA receptor agonists, and β-p-chlorophenyl-GABA , a compound which has GABA mimetic activity. The catalepsy produced by 10 ng of muscimol was reversed by an intrathalamic microinjection of picrotoxin, a GABA receptor antagonist. Muscimol-induced catalepsy, unlike neuroleptic-induced catalepsy, was not reversed by systemic administration of high doses of apomorphine, a dopamine receptor agonist, or of scopolamine, a muscarine antagonist, or by intranigral injection of muscimol, and was not prevented by kainic acid-induced lesions of the striatum or of the nigra. Vice versa, injection of cataleptogenic doses of muscimol in the thalamus failed to prevent the stereotyped gnawing produced by systemic apomorphine or intranigral muscimol. Therefore, in these animals, catalepsy and stereotyped gnawing coexisted. The unilateral intrathalamic microinjection of muscimol resulted in a postural asymmetry consisting of turning towards the injected side. This ipsilateral posturing was converted into an ipsilateral circling by systemic administration of apomorphine.The results indicate that thalamic GABAergic mechanisms play an important role in the regulation of posture and in the mediation of certain motor responses arising in the striatum.