Looking at this picture, what do you see? Do you see their faces or backs?? In order to answer this question we need to be able to detect the edges of the girl and the horse to determine what way they are facing. Similar to what we discussed in class with the blue and gold dress, the background of this photo is bright which can alter the objects in the image. Lateral Inhibition is when cells are in a certain pattern, and when stimulated they either excite or inhibit the cells. Being able to detect edges is known as lateral inhibition.

In order for our eyes to see this image and use edge detection, first our photoreceptors (rods and cones) send information to the bipolar cells, then which excite the ganglion cells, that report to the optic nerve. From the optic nerve the information goes to the occipital and temporal lobe, where vision takes place.

Cells that are right next to each other can receive different stimuli (either intense or moderately intense) which in turns causes the receptive fields to be excited or inhibited. This will then highlight the surface’s edge, the cells start to detect the edges of the object(s). As you sit here and ponder whether the horse and its owner are coming and going, you can see another example of when we must detect edges to determine what is going on in a picture.

This image, which includes my boyfriend and I. Is this one picture or two pictures? We use edgedetection to determine did we take one picture or did we take two seperate pictures and put them together. In this image a bright/light stimulus is being presented to the cells (on my side) and gray stimulus is being presented to cells right next door (on the right side of the photo). The was we perceive the light and how the rods and cones receive this information shows us how sometimes our eyes can trick us to see one picture vs two or the horse coming vs the horse going.

Tell me what you see in these photos!

6 thoughts on “April Blog: Lateral Inhibition

  1. Emily Busbee

    In the picture of the girl and her horse, I see both of their faces. In the photo of you and your boyfriend, it looks like you guys are two separate pictures that got photoshopped together. The way light can change the way we perceive images is fascinating, This reminds me of the photo of the old woman/young lady and the shadows are what make you see either the young woman or the older lady.

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  2. rfetty3 Post author

    Emily,
    The picture with the girl and the horse still gets me, i am not sure what direction they are going! As for the picture of my boyfriend and i, that is one picture! Its truly amazing.

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  3. swoodsid

    I think that they are going! The woman was the one that tricked me, but if you look at the horse’s head, legs, and tail, it is clear to me that they are going. Interesting picture! Ironically, after I had figured out my interpretation of the picture, I immediately thought about the white gold/blue black dress photo that went viral. I think the second picture is one that just looks like two pictures that are put together!

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  4. ldanby

    I think the girl and horse is the easier of the two examples. When I first saw the picture of you with your boyfriend I definitely thought it was two put together! I think its super interesting how lateral inhibition works and how vision works as a whole!! Its also always cool to me to think back to how everything we see is based on microscopic cells that all come together to form extremely detailed vision.

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  5. jesseboles

    At first I saw both the girl and the horse facing away. However after reading your first paragraph, I was able to direct my eyes to specific points on the picture which allowed me to switch between seeing the girl and horse facing forward and away. Lateral inhibition is crazy. I loved how you included the how we are seeing the images and what parts of our eyes are activated when looking as something with class concepts and definitions. I also really loved how you applied this to your personal life and included the picture of you and your boyfriend (cute picture by the way). At first I totally thought you two were in two separate photos. It is crazy how your eyes can be manipulated and ticked to see specific things.

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  6. jcarey

    This is so weird! I remember you showed it to Dr. Mailloux because it applied to S&P also. Lateral inhibition is kinda crazy, but going through daily life you don’t even realize how necessary it is. It is definitely something we take for granted! I saw the first picture as their fronts, and in that picture of you and your boyfriend, it really looked like you taped two pictures together. It’s crazy how our eyes play tricks on us sometimes! Thanks for sharing (-:

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