lateral inhibition

(redirected from lateral antagonism)

lateral inhibition

A process in which the most active sensory nerve fibres in a bundle (i.e. those whose receptors are near the centre of an area of stimulus) inhibit action potentials in adjacent fibres from the periphery of the stimulus area. This increases the contrast between the most relevant and the least relevant information.

lateral inhibition

the reciprocal suppression of excitation brought about by neighbouring neurons of a sensory network.

inhibition, lateral

Action of one neuron (e.g. in the retina) on the neighbouring neuron, the effect of which is to depress or prevent activity in the latter. This mechanism accounts for the increased contrast perception observed at the border of a black and white pattern. In the retina this is produced by the lateral connections of the amacrine and horizontal cells that interconnect the various retinal cells. Syn. lateral antagonism. See receptive field; Hering-Hermann grid; Mach's bands.
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