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The establishment of a precise quantitative relationship between environmental statistics and neural processing is important for a number of reasons. In addition to providing a framework for understanding the functional properties of neurons, such a relationship can lead to the derivation of new computational models based on environmental statistics. It can also be used in the design of new forms of stochastic experimental protocols and stimuli for probing biological systems. Finally, it can lead to fundamental improvements in the design of devices that interact with human beings.