Correlation-based learning (CBL) has been suggested as the mechanism that underlies the development of simple-cell receptive fields in the primary visual cortex of cats, including orientation preference (OR) and ocular dominance (OD) (Linsker, 1986; Miller, Keller, & Stryker, 1989). CBL has been applied successfully to the development of OR and OD individually (Miller, Keller, & Stryker, 1989; Miller, 1994; Miyashita & Tanaka, 1991; Erwin, Obermayer, & Schulten, 1995), but the conditions for their joint development have not been studied (but see Erwin & Miller, 1995, for independent work on the same question) in contrast to competitive Hebbian models (Obermayer, Blasdel, & Schulten, 1992). In this article, we provide insight into why this has been the case: OR and OD decouple in symmetric CBL models, and a joint development of OR and OD is possible only in a parameter regime that depends on nonlinear mechanisms.

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