Simple cells in primary visual cortex are believed to extract local edge information from a visual scene. In this paper, inspired by different receptive field properties and visual information flow paths of neurons, an improved Combination of Receptive Fields (CORF) model combined with non-classical receptive fields was proposed to simulate the responses of simple cell’s receptive fields. Compared to the classical model, the proposed model is able to better imitate simple cell’s physiologic structure with consideration of facilitation and suppression of non-classical receptive fields. And on this base, an edge detection algorithm as an application of the improved CORF model was proposed. Experimental results validate the robustness of the proposed algorithm to noise and background interference.