Intuitive aptitude is the ability to gain intuitive knowledge of how complex mechanical and biological systems work, and to gain abilities either by examining human brains or by forming emotional connections with others and understanding them.
- Samson Gray has this ability naturally.
- Gabriel Gray has this ability naturally, inherited from his father.
- Gabriella Bennet also has this ability naturally, inherited from her father and grandfather.
- In World 8 Joshua Evans has this ability naturally.
- Peter Petrelli has absorbed an inactive form of this ability in World 3, World 8 and World 11, but it has been activated in World 11. He previously had absorbed the ability in World 2, but deleted it after it was activated and will continue to do so.
- Noah Gray has also mimicked an inactive form.
- Abbie Gray has mimicked an inactive form.
- Arthur Petrelli took this ability in World 2, World 5 and World 8.
- Robert Max has also mimicked this ability, but deletes it.
- Thomas Wither had this ability naturally, before it was deleted.
- In the future, Flynn Bennet will also have this ability naturally.
- In the future, Katie Greene will also possess this ability naturally.
- Damien Mendez also possesses this ability naturally.
- Emily Miller will have this ability naturally.
Samson Gray did not seem to have any empathic aspect to the ability, and always killed to take abilities. It is unknown how many abilities he took during his life, but he had taken at least telekinesis and sedation. He claimed to have long since given up taking abilities and didn't display the "hunger" at first, but it returned when he saw his son had regeneration, and he didn't hesitate to attack Gabriel to take this from him. This could have been linked to the knowledge that his victim would survive, and the fact that the ability would save his own life. He ought to have also had an innate understanding of how other systems work, and an interest in this, but did not display it.
Unlike his father, Gabriel has an empathic aspect to the ability which means he can mimic an ability without attacking someone if he has an emotional connection with them. He has used this aspect in canon, in World 2 and World 5, but has not used it in World 3 or World 8. He has an innate understanding of how mechanical systems work, and previously used this as a watchmaker. He has display a "hunger" to take abilities, but has also shown that he can fight this if he has enough of a reason to do so.
Gabriella is more like her grandfather, and at first showed no empathic aspect. She eventually learned to access this aspect once, in desperation and when able to empathise strongly with that individual, but she hasn't displayed this again since. By now she struggles not to kill as much as she can. She too has the innate understanding of how systems work, and an interest in this.
Joshua only takes abilities empathically. This was the method which was first taught to him, and he has never displayed any desire to act differently, though this may have been solely from a fear of becoming like Sylar after spending years pursuing him working in Primatech. Joshua seems able to empathise easily, even from a short meeting.
At first Peter absorbed a dormant form of the ability, but had in several worlds activated it. He then struggled with the hunger, and could not prevent himself from attacking even his family. He has since had the ability removed in World 8, and knows not to awaken it deliberately. In World 2 it was forcibly awakened using ability control, but he subsequently deleted it, and he will do so every time he reabsorbs it. He never activated in World 3, and is currently unaware of the possibility or danger of doing so. In World 11 it is currently still active for him, and he is continually negating it. His own hunger seems often triggered by the need to understand a person's thought processes when he believes them to be wrong.
Noah too has an inactive form of the ability and knows not to awaken it.
Abbie, like her twin, has the inactive form and will not awaken it.
Arthur did not display the ability or its hunger. It is unknown whether this is due to greater control, or whether an activated form becomes dormant again when he takes it.
At first Robert absorbed a dormant form but awoke it accidentally. He then could not control it, and attacked Rhia Jones. He had the ability deliberately taken from him, and deletes it any time he reabsorbs it from his brother Gabriel.
Thomas didn't seem to have any empathic aspect to his ability, and had attempted to fight against the hunger, but failed. He had killed a handful of people for their abilities, and had attempted suicide before finding someone who could delete the ability from him.
Flynn will have inherited this ability from his mother, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will at first struggle with the "hunger" but will be taught how to take abilities empathically, and will do so to gain a handful. However, he will not take many, since he will find that this seems to feed the "hunger" in him.
Katie will manifest this ability as a child, and the first abilities she takes will be taken violently, since she will attack her mother for them. However, once her ability is then identified, her family will try to teach her to take them exclusively empathically. She will struggle to do so, and will attack and kill several more people, until she forces herself to make a large effort to empathise and mimic a healing ability. She will then copy some more abilities this way, mainly from her relatives, but she will still struggle to control the hunger, and will slip up several times. She will be unable to gain any multiple, replicating or alternating abilities, and she will also be unable to gain any secondary abilities which have themselves been gained thus. This means she will only be able to copy abilities from those who possess them naturally or synthetically.
Damien manifested this ability after his age was accelerated in an attack, and he quickly began displaying an understanding of complex systems. Gabriel Gray, a friend of his father's, identified the ability, and offered to help train him in using it. Damien attempted a few times to fight against the urge to attack others for their abilities, once attempting suicide to prevent himself, but continued to fail. He killed 3 individuals, and 2 more victims surivived only due to possessing abilities which could save them.
Emily will always kill in order to comprehend and copy abilities, and will be unaware of any possibility of taking abilities empathically. Since she will not gain telekinesis, she will use a knife to expose the brain. She will never make any attempt to control her hunger, and will give her child up for adoption for fear of attacking the infant, showing that not even a strong emotional bond could protect someone from her. Eventually she will be killed in self-defence by one of her intended victims.
- Empathic mimicry is the ability to mimic abilities
- Ability absorption is the power to take abilities
- Elucidation is the ability to understand how everything works
- Claircognizance can be used to understand how some things work
- Life absorption also contains a hunger with the ability
- Vulnerability linked power absorption is the ability to absorb abilities when they're vulnerable, which also includes a hunger to do so