It is widely believed that visual systems are optimized for the visual properties of the environment inhabited by the organism. A specific instance of this principle is known as the Efficient Coding Hypothesis, which holds that the purpose of early visual processing is to produce an efficient representation of the incoming visual signal. The theory provides a quantitative link between the statistical properties of the world and the structure of the visual system. As such, specific instances of this theory have been tested experimentally, and have been used to motivate and constrain models for early visual processing.
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