twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Ponies choose appropriate routes in the Equestrian environments to optimize their own displacements, but they also use this predictive ability to move objects, from thrown apples to rain showers.

Ponies have a feel for taking a route that gets them to their destination despite living in a landscape where the shortest distance between two points is rarely a straight line. As I explained before, the slightest shake changes how long a train trip lasts and just hoofing it can get you there faster.

Ponies start to develop these skills from the day that they're born, developing a cognitive map of their immediate surroundings and recognizing landmarks. They inventory objects, remember outcomes and sense the passage of time. The critical part of the brain responsible for navigation is the hippocampus, a pair of 'c' shaped structures in the temporal lobes. As young ponies grow, they choose preferred paths to navigate a wiggly environment where distance is a function of approach. Of course, each pony makes slightly different choices when building a cognitive map of their Equestria, but the outcome is generally the same.

The hippocampus is where memory, time sense and the cognitive map of a pony's private Equestria resides, but it's in the prefrontal cortex part of the brain where a pony makes sense of it all and acts accordingly. The prefrontal cortex also connects to a unicorn's horn. By capitalizing on the wiggle of Equestrian topography and the fact that nothing is ever perfectly still, a unicorn moves objects. What moves and how subtly is a function of the mental origami performed in the unicorn mind. Timing, movement and form. Grab, throw, grab, throw, pull through and there you go. Tying that winter scarf, just like your mother taught you. That's magic.

A unicorn may be adept at guiding an object through space, but all ponies get a sense of where objects that they've let go will land. Earth ponies and pegasi use position and timing to ensure objects to which they've imparted kinetic energy and momentum land where they want them to. Rain clouds generally stay where weather ponies put them, but it takes extra skill to get the rain to fall where you want it to. Just like it takes skill to get apples to fall from the trees and into your baskets, and not land three fields over.

Pinkie takes navigation in a non-euclidean landscape to the next level. She not only predicts the best path for her movements and for things she's moved, she feels out the possible paths of objects around her that could intersect with her projected positions.

Like traveling from point A to B, it's largely subconscious. Pinkie has connected her enhanced map to her motor cortex and translated her feelings of dread into coded body spasms to better know what it is she's expecting and act accordingly. She calls this her Pinkie Sense.

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twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Twilight Sparkle

July 2017

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