The feeding activity of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis was stimulated by depolarization of a modulatory interneuron (SO) or of a N1 pattern-generating interneuron. The cholinergic antagonists phenyltri-methylammonium (PTMA), methylxylocholine (MeXCh), hexamethonium (HMT) and atropine (ATR) were applied at 0.5 mM in the bath and their effects on the rhythmic feeding pattern were monitored. Each of the antagonists slowed or blocked the feeding rhythm. The block was due to interference in the pattern generating network, not to disturbance of modulatory inputs. The experimental results favour a model in which the alternation of protraction (N1) and retraction (N2) phases occurs by recurrent inhibition. The results would be more difficult to explain on the reciprocal inhibition model. When all the N1 output was blocked, the N1 neurons fired rhythmic bursts endogenously.