Internet provides access to plethora of information today. Whatever we need is just a Google (search) away. However, when we have so much of information, the challenge is to segregate between relevant and irrelevant information.
When our brain is fed with a lot of information simultaneously, it tries hard to understand and classify the information between useful and not-so-useful information. We need a similar mechanism to classify incoming information as useful or less-useful in case of Neural Networks.
Well, activation functions help the network to find the difference between these two cases. They help the network use the useful information and suppress the irrelevant data points.
Read this article to understand the various types of activation functions used
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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://iq.opengenus.org/types-of-activation-function/