Biomaterial surface modification is an efficient way of improving cell-material interactions. In this study, sub-micrometer laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) were produced on polystyrene by laser irradiation. FT-IR analysis confirmed that this treatment also led to surface oxidation and anisotropic orientation of the produced carbonyl groups. As a consequence, the surface energy of the laser-treated polystyrene was 1.45 times that of the untreated polystyrene, as measured by contact-angle goniometry. Protein adsorption and rat C6 glioma cell behavior on the two substrates were investigated, showing that the changed physicochemical properties of laser-modified polystyrene surface led to an increase in the quantity of adsorbed bovine serum albumin and significantly affected the behavior of rat C6 glioma cells. In the early stages of cell spreading, cells explored their microenvironment using filopodium as the main sensor. Moreover, cells actively aligned themselves along the direction of LIPSS gradually and cell attachment and proliferation were significantly enhanced.