According to Wilson and Bednar, wire-length optimization presupposes that neurons need input from other neurons with similar feature selectivity. Under that assumption, wire length is minimized if neurons with similar selectivities are close to each other. Thus, the kind of continuous topological feature maps we see optimize wire length.
The idea that neurons should especially require input from other neurons with similar spatial receptive fields is unproblematic. However, Wilson and Bednar argue that it is unclear why neurons should especially require input from neurons with similar non-spatial feature preferences (like orientation, spatial frequency, smell, etc.).⇒