Lateral Inhibition

Lateral inhibition, is a decrease in response in neurons that occurs when neighboring neurons become activated. For example, in Figure 1(a), a network of 10 excitatory neurons receiving information from visual space (such as neurons in the retina or later levels of the visual system) is intermingled with 9 inhibitory neurons. Activity in any one of the excitatory neurons can inhibit its neighbors indirectly by activating the inhibitory neurons that then inhibit their neighbors. When a stimulus (such as a bar of light or any other stimulus) excites a number of neurons in the network (in this case neurons 4e, 5e, 6e, and 7e), the effect of inhibition is to suppress the neurons just outside the edge of the bar (3e and 8e) because those ...

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