(a) C57BL/6 male mice were subjected to the forced swim test 24 h after i.p. injection with vehicle (Veh; saline) or ethanol (ETOH; 2.5 g kg−1). Ethanol treatment reduced immobility, indicating antidepressant efficacy. Veh=100±2.5, n=10 mice; ETOH=86±7.4, n=6. (b,c) In the splash test, male C57BL/6 mice groomed longer and took less time to initiate grooming 24 h post ethanol (2.5 g kg−1, i.p.) compared with 24 h post-vehicle (saline, i.p.) treatment. Total groom time: Veh=11.34±4.23 s, n=6; ETOH=35.37±6.72 s, n=5. Latency to groom: Veh=225.2±34.13 s, n=6; ETOH=77.55±28.44 s, n=5. (d–f) Total centre time, speed and distance were measured in the open field test 24 h post injection. Ethanol-treated (2.5 g kg−1, i.p.) mice spent more time in the centre, while speed and distance were unaffected compared with vehicle-treated (saline, i.p.) mice, indicating an ethanol-induced anxiolytic effect without altering mobility. Total centre time: Veh=327.5±35.62 s, n=6; ETOH=459.2±19.13 s, n=6. Average speed: Veh=0.042±0.002 m s−1, n=6; ETOH=0.041±0.002 m s−1, n=6. Total distance: Veh=75.35±3.92 m, n=6; ETOH=73.00±3.35 m, n=6. Significance determined by one-tailed t-test. Values represent mean±s.e.m.