Intuitive Aptitude, also known as Psychic Aptitude is the ability to psychically see and/or understand how systems work. One with this ability could even detect what each part does in a machine, so that they can almost-instinctively figure out how to work any device. They need to merely examine something for them to understand it, however having this ability results in a "hunger", causing the evolved human to want to understand as much as is possible. Intuitive Aptitude also seems to be a passive, and constantly active ability that actually analyzes things within a certain radius of the possessor at all times.
When utilized to achieve another evolved human's abilities the user generally needs to remove the top of the skull and examine the brain. This process allows the user of this ability to understand the genetics behind the ability, they are then able to consciously alter their own genetics in order to achieve the affects of the ability. However, this method is usually only due to the "hunger" and the fact that it gives the user a more developed control over their newly acquired abilities. Though, they are able to actually gain another person's ability without the need for removing their brain simply by being in close proximity with the person, this method actually takes visible concentration and results in a less developed control over the new ability.
If this ability is used on another person with intuitive aptitude, who has in turn used it to acquire other abilities, they are capable of acquiring all of the abilities that the victim possesses.
Intuitive Aptitude seems to be capable of actually analyzing human behaviors and intent, this extends to their emotional states.
The "hunger" portion of this ability primarily applies to that of another evolved human's abilities due to the complex nature of the genetics behind the abilities. This fact indicates that the "hunger" is often not triggered until one encounters another evolved human, and at that, not until they actually witness the ability being utilized.
The "hunger" is not a direct result of the genetics behind the ability, but most likely a mental disorder that is created from the abilities nature itself. This is supported by the fact that it is apparently not affected by the Shanti Virus, which actually cancels out the actual superhuman portion of the ability.
This is likely due to the fact that the genetics have actually been altered to allow the acquired abilities to be achieved. This fact has been a reason to support the theory that evolved humans with intuitive aptitude have been able to become immune to other abilities. This process works by having them exposed to abilities in the past, these exposures have had a complete effect on the person. But, like a vaccine, the next time the ability is utilized on them they become completely immune to the effects. This is theorized to be because they are able to intuitively understand how the ability is functioning outwardly, and then they alter themselves in a method to counteract it.
Known Evolved Humans
- Samson Gray naturally possesses this ability.
- Gabriel Gray naturally possesses this ability.
- Peter Petrelli duplicated this ability, with his original ability of Empathic Mimicry, but no longer possesses it.
- Arthur Petrelli stole this ability, with his ability of Ability Absorption.
A person who is capable of mastering Intuitive Aptitude may possibly be able to analyze and understand an incredibly diverse range of topics, from science, music, and art to things such as genetics, physics, and even other anomalistic abilities. Since, they can understand exactly how the brain (or body) causes these abilities to function they can proceed to add to an ever growing repertoire of abilities. A possessor of Intuitive Aptitude can perhaps become incredibly powerful since it allows them to gain abilities, it is very similar to Residual Emulation, Power Absorption, and other abilities that allow the duplication of Anomalistic Abilities besides themselves, temporarily and permanently. The "hunger" that this ability also presents can be managed through refinement of this ability's actual workings.
If one is capable of overcoming the "hunger" aspect of this ability, they could use it to successfully analyze the behaviors of other people, such as those that cause murder and rape. And then conclude a way to prevent these behaviors from actually arising in other individuals.
As with Sylar, this ability caused Samson Gray to go on a killing spree to acquire abilities, including Telekinesis and Soporifia, plus many others that he claims to have forgotten. Samson eventually gave up killing and seemed to suppress the hunger, but when he saw Sylar's regeneration at work, it caused the hunger to return.
Gabriel "Sylar" Gray
Sylar's ability seems to be constantly active, unconsciously helping him to analyze any system that he encounters. For systems that he already understands (like watches), he can detect and identify flaws in the mechanism with only a cursory inspection. Systems that he has never seen before may require more extensive study, but he seems to be able to comprehend them far more quickly than any ordinary person could, and he requires far less technological equipment.
Sylar's ability seems to work for analyzing mechanical and biological systems. Whether it would work on other types of systems (such as electronic hardware or computer software) is not yet known, although he has claimed that it allows him to rapidly analyze human behavior. He later learns to gain powers by analyzing a target's emotions "empathically" and helping them to come to terms with their personal issues.
With this ability, Sylar is able to study evolved humans to analyze their powers and copy them, adding them to his own. He can also learn to control them more quickly than the original owners can (e.g. emitting multiple, controlled pulses of radiation from his hands soon after acquiring induced radioactivity).
Sylar does not need to kill someone to gain their power. However, a physical study of the victim's brain requires direct observation necessitating the removal of the upper part of the skull, so the victim soon dies of blood loss and trauma. If a victim is capable of healing the damage, Claire Bennet being the only known case, they maintain their power.
Angela Petrelli explained to Sylar that his ability creates a hunger that can be controlled with structure. On the other hand, Arthur explained to Sylar that if he gained control of his emotions and helped someone else to deal with traumatizing personal emotions, he could gain a target's powers without physical study of the brain, though with less control over the new ability. Both techniques have proved useful in allowing Sylar to control the hunger and gain powers without having to kill his victims to study their brains.
Peter needed a future Gabriel to explain how the ability works. Gabriel gave Peter his broken watch to repair; performing the repair allowed Peter to manifest the ability. Afterward, Peter was able to understand Nathan's thought process and wanted to explore his thoughts more by slicing his head open and examining his brain this is the "hunger" that this ability to manifests, but he managed to stop.
Future Gabriel also explained to Peter that the ability creates a hunger (i.e., an obsession to understand as much as possible) that is hard to control, and made him a killer. When Peter teleports to Sylar's Level 5 cell, Sylar notes that Peter now has the same hunger that Sylar has because of the ability.
Arthur never demonstrated any usage of this ability before his death.