Receptor units in the eye of the horseshoe crab are more sensitive to lateral inhibition at some levels of excitation than they are at others. As a result, the steady-state inhibition of the response of a given unit is not directly proportional to the response levels of neighboring units. This effect may be represented by the introduction of a nonlinearity in the Hartline-Ratliff system of equations. The nonlinear inhibitory effect appears to increase the operating range of the receptor units.

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