Recently, statistical models of natural images have shown the emergence of several properties of the visual cortex. Most models have considered the nongaussian properties of static image patches, leading to sparse coding or independent component analysis. Here we consider the basic time dependencies of image sequences instead of their nongaussianity. We show that simple-cell-type receptive fields emerge when temporal response strength correlation is maximized for natural image sequences. Thus, temporal response strength correlation, which is a nonlinear measure of temporal coherence, provides an alternative to sparseness in modeling simple-cell receptive field properties. Our results also suggest an interpretation of simple cells in terms of invariant coding principles, which have previously been used to explain complex-cell receptive fields.

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