Ginkgolic acid conjugates (GAC) (6-alkylsalicylates, namely n-tridecyl-, n-pentadecyl-, n-heptadecyl-, n-pentadecenyl- and n-heptadecenylsalicylates) isolated from the leaves of Indian Ginkgo biloba Linn., (IGb) were tested for their putative role in anxiety in rats. Elevated plus maze, open-field behaviour, novelty-induced feeding latency and social interaction were the rodent behavioural models used in this study. GAC (0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg, each, p.o.) on single acute administration, showed dose-related changes in the behaviour. GAC (0.6 mg/kg) and DZ augmented open arm entries, the open arm/closed arm entries ratio and increased time spent in the open arm on the elevated plus maze. In the open field, GAC (0.6 mg/kg) and DZ significantly increased ambulation and reduced the immobility time. EGb 761 showed a similar profile. GAC (0.6 mg/kg) and DZ significantly attenuated the increased latency to feed in novel environment. By contrast, EGb 761 and Ginkocer further augmented feeding latency. None of the drugs tested showed any significant effect in the social interaction test. GAC showed consistent and significant anxiolytic activity in all the variables investigated. By contrast, EGb 761 and Ginkocer, which are devoid of GAC, did not evoke significant activity. However, increased rearing and decreased immobility time only in open field behaviour shown by EGb 761 may be due to some antianxiety activity of a lesser degree. Our observations suggest that GAC may be the active constituents of Ginkgo biloba responsible for the anxiolytic activity.