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The effect of extracellular stimulation on excitable tissue is evaluated using analytical models. Primary emphasis is placed on the determination of the rate of rise of the membrane potential in response to subthreshold stimulation. Three models are studied: (1) a spherical cell in a uniform electric field, (2) an infinite cylindrical fiber with a point source stimulus, and (3) a finite length cable with sealed ends and a stimulus electrode at each end. Results show that the rate of rise of the transmembrane potential was more rapid than the step response of a space-clamped membrane for all geometries considered. The response of the cylindrical fiber to extracellular stimulation is compared to previously reported studies of the cylindrical fiber response to intracellular stimulation. It is found that the location of the stimulus has little effect on the infinite fiber response. For terminated cables, however, an accurate model of stimulus response must discriminate between intracellular and extracellular stimulation.