Activity measurements are expected to have widespread use in toxicity testing. The multifaceted nature of motor activity will directly influence the selection of a measurement technique since the relative contribution of various motor acts to any particular measurement will depend upon the detection method. Because of the apparatus-dependent nature of motor activity measurements, it is recommended that consideration be given to how accurately the various devices measure locomotive activity. In the present paper, two types of body movement will be considered as locomotor activity: ambulation (horizontally directed movement) and rearing (vertically directed movement). Discussion focuses on the various methods currently used to record motor activity, the various components of motor activity which are likely to be recorded, and the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques for the measurement of locomotor activity. Finally, consideration is given to studies which have compared treatment effects on motor activity derived from two or more measurement techniques.