Landy et al. and Beck et al. seem to imply that optimization to natural stimuli is due to evolution. I'm sure they wouldn't disagree, though, with the idea that optimization is also partly achieved through learning---as in the case of kittens reared in unnatural sensory environments.⇒
Attention developed quite early. Even very simple organisms, like drosophila and honeybees, show evidence of attentional processes.⇒
Since brains are just things that evolved out of a need for efficient information processing, all mechanisms in it can be interpreted as emergent phenomena. Taking a normative stance and attributing a cause to them can be enlightening. It is a matter of scientific pragmatism whether one wants to look at a specific phenomenon in terms of why it evolved or what problem it solves, or (often) both.⇒
Multisensory integration is a way to reduce uncertainty. This is both a normative argument and it states the evolutionary advantage of using multisensory integration.⇒
Evolutionary psychology assumes that evolution has lead to ecologically optimal behavior and behavior can therefore predicted and understood by considering optimal behavior within an environment.⇒
Stone speaks of the 'conservative nature of evolution' which recycles solutions and applies them wherever they fit. According to this, it is likely that any mechanisms found in visual processing operate in many if not all places of the brain dealing with different but structurally similar functions.⇒
Nature has had millions of years to optimize the performance of cognitive systems. It is therefore reasonable to assume that they perform optimally wrt. natural tasks and natural conditions.
Bayesian theory provides a framework to determine optimal strategies. Therefore, it makes sense to operate under the assumption that the processes we observe in nature can be understood as implementations of Bayes-optimal strategies.⇒