In neurological and behavioral studies in mice, rats, dogs and squirrel monkeys, the imidazobenzodiazepinone Ro 15-1788 acted as a potent benzodiazepine antagonist. The antagonistic activity was both preventive and curative and seen at doses at which no intrinsic effects were detected. It was highly selective in that it acted against CNS effects induced by benzodiazepines but not against those produced by other depressants, such as phenobarbitone, meprobamate, ethanol, and valproate. The onset of action was rapid even after oral administration. Depending on the animal species studied, the antagonistic effects lasted from a few hours to 1 day. The acute and subacute toxicity of Ro 15-1788 was found to be very low. Benzodiazepine-like effects were not seen.