Fabian Sinz, Matthias Bethge
Bandpass filtering, orientation selectivity, and contrast gain control are prominent features of sensory coding at the level of V1 simple cells. While the effect of bandpass filtering and orientation selectivity can be assessed within a linear model, contrast gain control is an inherently nonlinear computation. Here we employ the class of $L_p$ elliptically contoured distributions to investigate the extent to which the two features---orientation selectivity and contrast gain control---are suited to model the statistics of natural images. Within this framework we find that contrast gain control can play a significant role for the removal of redundancies in natural images. Orientation selectivity, in contrast, has only a very limited potential for redundancy reduction.