Mimosa pudica (Linn.) (M. pudica L.) is a plant used in some countries to treat anxiety and depression. In the present study we investigated the effects of an aqueous extract of M. pudica L. on mouse anxiety-like behaviour using the elevated T maze, and on regulation of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neuronal activity using an in-vitro mouse brain slice preparation. Acute treatment with M. pudica L. extract had an anxiolytic effect on behaviour in the elevated T maze, specifically on inhibitory avoidance behaviour. Acute application of the extract alone had no effect on the activity of DRN 5-HT neurones. However, when co-applied with the GABA(A) receptor agonist THIP (4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol), the extract enhanced the inhibitory effect of the THIP on DRN 5-HT neurones. These observed effects of M. pudica L. on both behaviour and GABA modulation of 5-HT neuronal activity are similar to the effects of diazepam, the established anxiolytic and positive modulator of the GABA(A) receptor. This study suggests that the aqueous extract of M. pudica L. contains a positive modulator of GABA(A) receptor function and provides impetus for further investigation of the neuropharmacologically active constituents of the extract.