Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

n. an interaction observed between the center and the surround regions of receptive fields, particularly those of visual, photoreceptor cells and somatosensory neurons. When the center of a receptive field is stimulated, it elicits an opposite response in that of the surrround or periphery. This causes some neurons to depolarize at the center or to hyperpolarize at the surround, while other neurons exhibit exactly the opposite reaction. See on response. Also off reponse.

CENTER-SURROUND ANTAGONISM: "Due to center-surround antagonism, the nervous system becomes increasingly-sensitive to a contrast in perceptions and sensations."

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