Previous research has indicated that there are two types of theta activity which can be recorded from the hippocampus in most rodents. One type (type 1) of theta is correlated with voluntary movements while the second (type 2) occurs during immobility. A third waveform termed LIA (Large Amplitude Irregular Activity) occurs during more automatic behaviors, e.g., grooming, shivering or immobility. In the rabbit and guinea pig type 2 theta can readily be elicited in unrestrained animals. However, type 2 theta is rarely seen in the unrestrained rat. The purpose of the present study was to determine the stimulus conditions that are necessary for the elicitation of type 2 theta in the rat. In the present study 20 unrestrained rats were observed in the presence of a cat or a ferret. Movements by the cat or ferret produced theta in immobile rats. Sensory stimuli which did not ordinarily produce type 2 theta would reliably do so in the presence of the cat or ferret. It is hypothesized that type 2 theta in the unrestrained immobile rat occurs during sensory processing but only when the animal is in a high state of "arousal."