Considerable interest has arisen in identifying antipsychotic agents with improved efficacy against negative symptoms, such as social withdrawal. In rats, a social interaction deficit can be induced by the NMDA antagonist phencyclidine (PCP). Here, we examined the effects of antipsychotics, reported to exert dual 5-HT(1A)/D(2) actions, on PCP-induced social interaction deficits. Drugs were administered daily for 3 days in combination with either vehicle or PCP (2.5mg/kg, SC) and social interaction was measured on the last day of drug treatment. Pairs of unfamiliar rats receiving the same treatment were placed in a large open field for 10 min and the number of social behaviors were scored. The results indicate that (1) PCP significantly reduced social interaction by over 50% compared with vehicle-treated controls; (2) haloperidol (0.0025-0.16 mg/kg, SC) and clozapine (0.04-10mg/kg, IP) did not reverse PCP-induced social interaction deficits; (3) the substituted benzamide remoxipride reversed PCP-induced deficits at 0.63 and 2.5mg/kg (4) the 5-HT(1A) agonist 8-OH-DPAT was inactive (at 0.01-0.63 mg/kg, SC); (5) among compounds reported to exert dual 5-HT(1A)/D(2) actions, SSR181507 (at 0.16 mg/kg, SC) and aripiprazole (at 0.04 and 0.16 mg/kg, IP), but not ziprasidone (0.04-2.5mg/kg, IP), SLV313 (0.0025-0.16 mg/kg, SC) or bifeprunox (0.01-0.63 mg/kg, IP), significantly reversed PCP-induced social interaction deficits; and (6) the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist WAY100635 blocked the effects of SSR181507 and aripiprazole. These findings indicate that the balance of activity at 5-HT(1A) and D(2) receptors profoundly influences the activity of antipsychotics in this model of social withdrawal, and their potential benefit on at least some of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.