Alcohol infusions of roots of Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth. (PO), known as Marapuama or Muirapuama, are used in the Brazilian Amazon as a 'nerve tonic'. Over the years PO has been found increasingly in phytoformulations and regarded as a stimulant, claimed to enhance physical and mental performances. This study determined that a P. olacoides ethanol extract (30, 100 and 300 mg/kg) decreased exploratory behaviour in the hole-board test, without interfering with locomotion or motor coordination (rota-rod test). The data are comparable to that obtained with pentylenetetrazol (40 mg/kg), suggesting an anxiogenic effect of P. olacoides.