The predictive utility of three aspects of neonatal neurobehavioral performance was examined in 144 very low birth weight (< 1500 g) preterms who were followed until 6 years of age. Visual-following and auditory-orienting composites derived from the Einstein Neonatal Neurobehavioral Assessment Scale were modestly related to the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and IQ scores at several ages, whereas the active motility composite was only related to MDI scores at 1 year of age (corrected). Infants who showed deviant performance on both visual following and auditory orienting composites had significantly lower cognitive test scores at 1 and 6 years of age and were more likely to be classified as subaverage at 6 years of age (IQ < 85). Group differences were independent of both neonatal health status and motor scores and were not due to the performance of children with severe sensory impairments. These findings suggest that visual following and auditory orienting measured in the neonatal period can offer a useful way of indexing initial capacities.