Role of immobilization stress (IMS), a psychological stressor and forced swim stress (FSS), a physical stressor was investigated on the neurobehavioral toxicity of lambda-cyhalothrin (LCT), a new generation type-II synthetic pyrethroid. Pre-exposure of rats to IMS (15 min/day) or FSS (3 min/day) for 28 days on LCT (3.0 mg/kg body weight, p.o.) treatment for 3 days resulted to decrease spatial learning and memory and muscle strength associated with cholinergic-muscarinic receptors in frontal cortex and hippocampus as compared to those exposed to IMS or FSS or LCT alone. Decrease in acetylcholinesterase activity, protein expression of ChAT and PKC-β1 associated with decreased mRNA expression of CHRM2, AChE and ChAT in frontal cortex and hippocampus was also evident in rats pre-exposed to IMS or FSS on LCT treatment, compared to rats exposed to IMS or FSS or LCT alone. Interestingly, changes both in behavioral and neurochemical endpoints were marginal in rats subjected to IMS or FSS for 28 days or those exposed to LCT for 3 days alone, compared to controls. The results suggest that stress is an important contributor in LCT induced cholinergic deficits.