Convection patterns in the polar ionosphere and in the magnetosphere were obtained from the known distribution of field-aligned currents (Iijima and Potemra, 1976, J. geophys. Res. 81, 5971) and the empirical model of ionospheric conductivity (Spiro, R. W., Reiff, P. H. and Maher, L. J., 1982, J. geophys. Res. 87, 8215). The distribution of field-aligned currents corresponds to a four-cell convection model. The mechanism is proposed which is responsible for the generation of region 3 (mantle) field-aligned currents and is not dependent on IMF north-south orientation.