Extracellularly applied steady electric fields of 0.1 to 10 V/cm were found to have marked effects on the neurite growth of single dissociated Xenopus neurons in culture: (1) neurites facing the cathode showed accelerated growth, while the growth of those facing the anode was reduced. Neurites growing relatively perpendicular to the field axis were prompted to curve toward the cathode. (2) More neurites appeared to be initiate from the cathodal side of the cell. (3) The number of neurite-bearing neurons per culture and the average neurite length were increased. These effects are absent in cultures treated with electric fields of similar strength but alternating polarity and cannot be attributed either to a gradient of extracellular diffusible substances or to the flow of culture medium produced by the field. The field effects are reversible: (1) removal of the electric field resulted in the loss of neurite orientation in a few hours and (2) reversal of the polarity of the electric field led to a rapid reversal in the neurite orientation. To determine the cellular loci of these field effects, we treated the neurons with a number of pharmacological agents or altered their ionic environments. Incubation with concanavalin A (Con A) was found to abolish these filed effects completely. Since the binding of Con A to the neuronal surface was shown to prevent field-induced accumulation of the Con A receptors toward the cathodal side of these neurons, our finding is accumulation of the Con A receptors toward the cathodal side of these neurons, our finding is consistent with the notion that cathodal accumulation of growth-controlling surface glycoproteins by the field is the underlying mechanism of the field-induced orientation of neurite growth toward the cathode.