Prematurely born children are at increased risk for cognitive deficits, but the neurobiological basis of these findings remains poorly understood. Because variations in neural circuitry may influence performance on cognitive tasks, recent investigations have explored the impact of preterm birth on connectivity in the developing brain. Diffusion tensor imaging studies demonstrate widespread alterations in fractional anisotropy, a measure of axonal integrity and microstructural connectivity, throughout the developing preterm brain. Functional connectivity studies report that preterm neonates, children and adolescents exhibit alterations in both resting state and task-based connectivity when compared with term control subjects. Taken together, these data suggest that neurodevelopmental impairment following preterm birth may represent a disease of neural connectivity.