Blockade of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor function by direct microinjection of bicuculline into the nucleus ambiguous in cats produced a marked increase in gastric motility which was mediated by the vagus nerve. This effect was reversed by muscimol. These data indicate that the nucleus ambiguous may be an important brain site influencing gastric function and that the neurotransmitter controlling parasympathetic overflow from this nucleus to the stomach is gamma-aminobutyric acid.