Skip to Content


Peromyscus Genetic Stock Center


Audiogenic Epilepsy (epl)

SYNONYMS: Epilepsy, sonogenic epilepsy. The whirling aspect of the trait has been called "waltzing in artemisiae".

ALLELES: epl+ (normal), epl (mutant).

INHERITANCE: Recessive.

PHENOTYPE: These deer mice, when subjected to certain stimuli, especially high pitched sound, go into convulsions, whirl rapidly, become stuporous or exhibit other abnormal behaviors. Maximum reaction occurs between one and four months of age, and diminishes thereafter. Most become deaf before four months, although a few retain hearing for a year or longer. There is a degeneration of the auditory neural pathway in older deer mice. Chance and Yaxley (1948) present a detailed account of the seizure pattern. Whirling behavior may or may not accompany convulsive seizures, and some individuals do not show this facet of the syndrome.

SOURCE: About 1933. University of Michigan. This trait appeared among laboratory stocks of P.m. artemisiae originating from deer mice trapped at Lyon's Ferry, Washington. The strain that carries this behavior mutant is designated EPL.

REFERENCE: Dice (1935), Watson (1939), Chance (1947, 1954, 1957), Chance and Yaxley (1948), Ross (1962), Dice, et al. (1963), Ralls (1967).