Epileptic discharges propagate through apparently normal circuits, although it is still unclear how this recruitment takes place. To understand the role of different classes of neurons in neocortical epilepsy, we have developed a novel imaging assay that detects which neurons participate in epileptiform discharges. Using calcium imaging of neuronal populations during bicuculline-induced spontaneous epileptiform events in slices from juvenile mouse somatosensory cortex, we find that fast calcium transients correlate with epileptiform field potentials and intracellular depolarizing shifts and can be used as an optical signature that a given neuron has participated in an epileptiform event. Our results demonstrate a novel method to characterize epileptiform events with single-cell resolution. In addition, our data are consistent with an important role for layer 5 in generating neocortical seizures and indicate that subgroups of neurons are particularly prone to epileptiform recruitment.