The convulsant pentylenetetrazole was administered to the lower primate, the tree shrew. Shortly after the onset of seizures, the animals were killed using a microwave device at 25 Kw and 915 MHz. The energy metabolites glycogen, glucose, ATP, and phosphocreatine were measured in five layers of the cerebral cortex and three layers of the cerebellum. Results showed that, as compared with controls, seizing animals had decreased energy metabolites selective to certain layers. Glucose was decreased in all cortical layers, but only in the granular layer of the cerebellum. Phosphocreatine was decreased in the outer small pyramidal layer and the polymorphous layer of the cortex but was unchanged in the cerebellum. ATP was decreased only in the outer small polymorphous layer of the cortex. These changes are consistent with the concept that selective changes may occur during seizures and that these changes are localized to layers that contain pyramidal cells. Examination of whole cortex may mask more subtle regional changes.