Benzodiazepines are widely used anxiolytics and anticonvulsants, and their potent sedative properties are routinely used in presurgical anaesthesia. However, they are also known to induce a strong anterograde amnesia in patients1. Specific benzodiazepine antagonists have recently been described2,3, some of which have intrinsic pharmacological properties that are opposite to those of benzodiazepines. These have been called inverse agonists4,5 and they have been shown to be proconyulsant or convulsant6,7 whereas benzodiazepines are anticonvulsants. Inverse agonists are also anxiogenic8-12 rather than anxiolytic. Since benzodiazepines induce anterograde amnesia, we have investigated the possibility that inverse agonists might also have an opposite effect for this property and so enhance acquisition (learning) and (or) retention (memory). We report here that, in three different animal models, an inverse agonist of the β-carboline group, methyl β-carboline-3-carboxylate (β-CCM), enhances animal performance in three different tasks used to investigate learning and memory.