We present a computational study of the formation of simple-cell receptive field patterns in the primary visual cortex. Based on the observation that the spatial frequency of the retinal filter increases postnatally, our results explain differences in the time course of the development of orientation selectivity in binocularly deprived and normally reared kittens. Development after eye-opening in normal animals is modelled by training with natural images, whereas in the case of binocular deprivation noise-like stimulation continues. Further, it is shown that different orientation selectivities are obtained for network models trained with natural images in contrast to random phase images of identical second order statistics. The latter finding suggests that higher-order statistics of the inputs influences development of primary visual cortex. Finally, we search for quantities that identify possible signatures of natural image statistics in order to specify the amount of constructiveness that visual experience has on the formation of receptive fields.