|Icon | Gif|
|Description||The ability to have any of the five senses enhanced at will, only using one at a time|
|“||She can read the New York Times from 10 blocks away||”|
—Nina, on Rachel's power
Synesthete Alphas are able to enhance one of their five senses such as vision or hearing, while rendering the remaining senses temporarily useless — often leaving them vulnerable.
The human senses are some of most finely tuned sensors in the world. The human brain is specifically keyed to intake enormous amounts of sensory data and process them into a picture of the person's surroundings. Synesthetes are able to compartmentalize their sensory nerves, increasing their ability tenfold.
Each sensory system works a bit differently, but works on a basic principle: the sensory organ takes in data, transmits a version of the data through the neural network of the brain, and then creates a sensory image for the brain to analyze.
For instance, a sound is vibration through air. It enters the ear, hitting the eardrum. Tiny hairs within the liquid of the eardrum differentiate the vibrations, and transmit these differences as an electrochemical charge along the neurons. The neurons go all the way to the auditory cortex, where the information is processed. It's compared against sound data from the other ear, against past memory, and cataloged for its specific frequency and volume.
The synesthete's brain and sensory organs work much more efficiently then a typical human's. They can parse out very specific details about a sensory stimuli. For instance, instead of smelling a pizza, a synesthete can smell the fifteen ingredients separately, the freshness of the individual ingredients. They can then make more connections and assumptions based on this data; a strong acid presence could tell them how much or what kind of tomato sauce is being used.
One of the main ways the synesthete is able to do this is compartmentalization. Normally, it takes considerable effort to focus on one sense. A person can sniff the air in a room, but they can still hear, see, and feel the room simultaneously, taking away neural energy from the olfactory cortex and nasal neurons. The synesthete can basically prioritize one sense over the others, funneling most of the brain's energy into collecting and processing sensory data for that one sense.
Out of all the Alphas, Synesthetes are typically the least comfortable with their abilities. Having to process the sensory data of the modern world can be overwhelming; the human brain is usually calloused by constant sensory input, but the synesthete brain seems to remain more fresh, considering some sensory data (smells, sounds, lights) as constantly offensive.
Synesthetes tend to be people pleasers and will do anything to avoid confrontation. Their blindingly precocious nature tends to put Synesthetes in dangerous situations.
Some sub-powers of being a Synesthete is:
- Empathy: Using smell, Synesthete Alphas can smell the chemical signatures of different emotions.
- Sensory Overload: Seen when Skylar Adams stuns the team with a Sensory Overload device, Rachel is able to take advantage of the downside of her power to avoid the worst of the effects—recognizing the nature of the device, she turned up her sense of taste, shutting down sight and hearing so the sonic whine and strobe light the device employed would have minimal effect.
- Danger Sense: Purlec demonstrated this ability when the hair on his arm stands on end when he is being followed by Rosen's Alphas. This suggests he has a heightened "sixth sense" or "danger sense"
- Echolocation: Using hearing, the user can use sound like Dr. Graham Kern