Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are malformations of cortical development that often result in medically refractory epilepsy, with a greater incidence in the pediatric population. The relationship between the disturbed cortical morphology and epileptogenic activity of FCDs remains unclear. We used the BCNU (carmustine 1-3-bis-chloroethyl-nitrosourea) animal model of cortical dysplasia to evaluate neuronal and laminar alterations and how these result in altered activity of intracortical networks in early life. We corroborated the previously reported morphological anomalies characteristic of the BCNU model, comprising slightly larger and rounder neurons and abnormal cortical lamination. Next, the neuronal activity of live cortical slices was evaluated through large field-of-view calcium imaging as well as the neuronal response to a stimulus that leads to cortical hyperexcitability (pilocarpine). Examination of the joint activity of neuronal calcium time series allowed us to identify intracortical communication patterns and their response to pilocarpine. The baseline power density distribution of neurons in the cortex of BCNU-treated animals was different from that of control animals, with the former showing no modulation after stimulus. Moreover, the intracortical communication pattern differed between the two groups, with cortexes from BCNU-treated animals displaying decreased inter-layer connectivity as compared to control animals. Our results indicate that the altered anatomical organization of the cortex of BCNU-treated rats translates into altered functional networks that respond abnormally to a hyperexcitable stimulus and highlight the role of network dysfunction in the pathophysiology of cortical dysplasia.© 2023. The Author(s).