In an in vitro model for distention-induced peristalsis in the guinea pig small intestine, the electrical activity, intraluminal pressure, and outflow of contents were studied simultaneously to search for evidence of myogenic control activity. Intraluminal distention induced periods of nifedipine-sensitive slow wave activity with superimposed action potentials, alternating with periods of quiescence. Slow waves and associated high intraluminal pressure transients propagated aborally, causing outflow of content. In the proximal small intestine, a frequency gradient of distention-induced slow waves was observed, with a frequency of 19 cycles/min in the first 1 cm and 11 cycles/min 10 cm distally. Intracellular recording revealed that the guinea pig small intestinal musculature, in response to carbachol, generated slow waves with superimposed action potentials, both sensitive to nifedipine. These slow waves also exhibited a frequency gradient. In addition, distention and cholinergic stimulation induced high-frequency membrane potential oscillations (∼55 cycles/min) that were not associated with distention-induced peristalsis. Continuous distention produced excitation of the musculature, in part neurally mediated, that resulted in periodic occurrence of bursts of distally propagating nifedipine-sensitive slow waves with superimposed action potentials associated with propagating intraluminal pressure waves that caused pulsatile outflow of content at the slow wave frequency.