Recent studies have demonstrated an important role for the N-methyl-D- aspartate receptor (NMDAR) in epilepsy. NMDARs have also been shown to play a critical role in hyperexcitability associated with several animal models of human epilepsy. Using whole-cell voltage clamp recordings in brain slices, we studied evoked paroxysmal discharges in the freeze-lesion model of neocortical microgyria. The voltage dependence of epileptiform discharges indicated that these paroxysmal events were produced by a complex pattern of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. We examined the effect of the NMDAR antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid (APV) and the NMDA receptor subunit type 2B (NR2B)-selective antagonist ifenprodil on the threshold, peak amplitude, and area of evoked epileptiform discharges in brain slices from lesioned animals. Both compounds consistently raised the threshold for evoking the discharge but had modest effects on the discharge peak and amplitude. For comparison with nonlesioned cortex, we examined the effects of ifenprodil on the epileptiform discharge evoked in the presence of 2 μM bicuculline (partial disinhibition). In slices from nonlesioned cortex, 10 μM ifenprodil had little effect on the threshold whereas 71% of the recordings in bicuculline-treated lesioned cortex showed a > 25% increase in threshold. These results suggest that NR2B-containing receptors are functionally enhanced in freeze-lesioned cortex and may contribute to the abnormal hyperexcitability observed in this model of neocortical microgyria.