在视网膜细胞中发生侧向抑制，导致视觉图像中边缘增强和对比度增加。 Ernst Mach发现了这种类型的侧向抑制，他在1865年解释了现在被称为马赫带的视觉错觉。在这种错觉中，尽管面板内部颜色均匀，但在过渡时彼此相邻的不同阴影面板看起来更亮或更暗。面板在边框处看起来较浅，面板较暗（左侧），边框较暗，面板较浅（右侧）。转换处的较暗和较亮的条带实际上并不存在，而是横向抑制的结果。接受较大刺激的眼睛的视网膜细胞比接受较少强烈刺激的细胞更大程度地抑制周围细胞。接收来自边缘较亮侧的输入的光接收器产生比接收来自较暗侧的输入的接收器更强的视觉响应。此动作用于增强边界处的对比度，使边缘更明显。
Lateral inhibition occurs in retinal cells, resulting in increased edge enhancement and contrast in the visual image. Ernst Mach discovered this type of lateral suppression, and in 1865 he explained the visual illusion now known as the Mach band. In this illusion, although the interior color of the panel is uniform, the different shaded panels adjacent to each other at the transition appear brighter or darker. The panel looks lighter at the border, the panel is darker (left), the border is darker, and the panel is lighter (right). The darker and lighter bands at the transition do not actually exist, but are the result of lateral suppression. Retinal cells that receive larger irritated eyes suppress peripheral cells to a greater extent than cells that receive less intense stimuli. An optical receiver that receives input from the brighter side of the edge produces a stronger visual response than a receiver that receives input from the darker side. This action is used to enhance the contrast at the border and make the edges more visible.