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The extraction of statistically independent components from high-dimensional multi-sensory input streams is assumed to be an essential component of sensory processing in the brain. Such independent component analysis (or blind source separation) could provide a less redundant representation of information about the external world. Another powerful processing strategy is to extract preferentially those components from high-dimensional input streams that are related to other information sources, such as internal predictions or proprioceptive feedback. This strategy allows the optimization of internal representation according to the information bottleneck method. However, concrete learning rules that implement these general unsupervised learning principles for spiking neurons are still missing. We show how both information bottleneck optimization and the extraction of independent components can in principle be implemented with stochastically spiking neurons with refractoriness. The new learning rule that achieves this is derived from abstract information optimization principles.