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Talk:Empathic mimicry

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Ability Naming Conventions
The following sources are used for determining evolved human ability names, in order:
1. Canon Sources Episodes
Graphic Novels,
Heroes Evolutions
3. Secondary Sources Episode commentary,
Heroes: Survival
4. Common names for abilities Names from other works
5. Descriptions of abilities Descriptions
6. Possessor's name If no non-speculative
description is possible

Note: The highlighted row represents the level of the source used to determine empathic mimicry's name.
"Empathic Mimcry"[sic] is explicitly named in Peter's tip in the Assignment Tracker Map.
Archives Archived Topics
Dec 2006-Feb 2007 • [[Talk:Empathic mimicry/Archive 1#[|[]]
Mar 2007-Dec 2008 CarbD
Dec 2008-Jan 2010 CBR confirms Sylar Season 3 DVD Co

Past Self

Could Peter replicate his old ability by touching his past self?(50000JH 18:20, 12 January 2010 (EST))

  • Dont think so, it has been stated that Peter could't absorb abilities from his future self from when he had his old ability. I think the same would be for this ability.-- Yoshi | Talk | Contributions 18:21, 12 January 2010 (EST)
    • What was said is that he couldn't absorb Future Peter's acquired abilities, as he was only exposed to his base power, empathic mimicry. Peter could indeed replicate past Peter's empathic mimicry, just like he can replicate anyone's base power. - Josh (talk/contribs) 18:47, 12 January 2010 (EST)
      • We dont know if it was the ability that didn't made him absorb it or the person, what if he is just is unable to absorb abilities from himself.-- Yoshi | Talk | Contributions 17:22, 13 January 2010 (EST)

I knew he could not mimic his future self, as he did not mimic body insertion.[50000JH 17:19, 13 January 2010 (EST)]

Does he really absorb abilities empathically?

I'm just wondering about this: does Peter, when he still had EM, absorb abilities EMPATHICALLY? By empathy, I understand that it's about feeling what others feel, know their emotions and other whatnots. Peter has met some evolved humans and absorbed their abilites yet he doesn't know much about them, let alone emapthically relate to them to absorb their abilities. Like Phasing from D.L(whom he only met once at Kirby Plaza), Induced Radioactivity(he manifested Ted's ability as soon as he saw him) and Precognition(he manifested Precognition after barely treating(from heroin) and barely knowing Isaac. I really doubt he absorbed abilities "empathically". Thoughts? --Realistic

  • I know what you mean and personally I think the way Peter absorbed abilities sometimes was bad writing. However, we were given the name "empathic mimicry" for his original power, so we should stick to it.--Referos 08:44, 25 January 2010 (EST)
    • Ability Mimicry would have been much better from the beginning but like Referos said, we have been given that name so well we have to stick with it for now -- (WaterRatj) 09:17, 25 January 2010 (EST)
      • Perhaps it was less of an empathic link with "people", and more of a link with his own feelings, feeling trapped kicked in the phasing... and just like with Tracy and her freezing, they kick in depending on different situations. --mc_hammark 12:11, 25 January 2010 (EST)
  • I think it's been said before but the act of empathising with someone or something is a a) a conscious choice and b) an active process. Peter's ability violates both of these rules as he absorbed some powers (e.g. Telepathy) without being aware the ability existed so that's a) gone, and some powers (e.g. Phasing) with no effort whatsoever so that's b) gone. If anything, what Sylar does is empathy. Peter's ability is simply misnamed- should just be Power mimicry or Passive mimicry.--Evil Maldini 12:09, 27 January 2010 (EST)
  • I got a question: Can't this ability be renamed to anything related to "Power/Ability Mimicry"? I think most would agree that he does not absorb abilities empathically(at least, on most cases). By "empathically", I mean by the traditional sense of the word, which is to relate to others and reciprocate feelings and emotions.--Realistic
    • No, we can't rename this. "Empathic mimicry" was given to us explicitly.--Referos 10:30, 31 January 2010 (EST)
      • Yup. Another case of the "canon" rule preventing a change even though we all know the name isn't acurate. Thing is, writers can make mistakes too (I study it so I should know), as can any member of the crew who release information. What we should do is always follow the canon, unless we can distinguish that the writers/crew themselves have made a mistake- which is pretty much the basis for one side of the naming conventions debate- a debate which will never conclude, so we'll just have to accept the name in it's incorrect form.--Evil Maldini 18:04, 31 January 2010 (EST)
        • Peter said he had to remember how he felt when he met Claire, in order to use RCR when Claude pushed him over the edge. Meaning empathetically. I too thought we should have called it Ability mimicry, but I see it should remain as empathic mimicry.--Catalyst · Talk · HL 18:26, 31 January 2010 (EST)
          • It's not our place to decide when the writers make mistakes, Maldini. Feel free to send them an email or something questioning it, but unless we have some other source against it, it's our job to archive what we've been given.--Riddler 20:52, 31 January 2010 (EST)
            • History of the name: we originally called the ability "power mimicry". After Claude used the word "empath" to describe Peter and his power, we moved the page to "empathy". Much discussion later, we combined the two terms and called it "empathic mimicry" on January 31, 2007. At that point, the name was considered a descriptive name--it was based on something said in a canon source, but there was no canon source for the name. It wasn't until August 5, 2008, I believe, that the assignment tracker map explicitly named Peter's ability. I assume that the writers used Heroes Wiki's name for the power, but I can't be positive. Either way, it's the name that was explicitly given to us, and which we will use. Frankly, I think it's a great name. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 00:03, 1 February 2010 (EST)
  • Remembering how someone made you feel isn't empathy, that's just memory. And it's been proven he could use his powers without "remembering how the doner made him feel" in season 2, when he couldn't even remember who he was, let alone who all his donors were. Plus, it's since been proven that RCR is a passive ability- and doesn't need conscious thought or imperitive, meaning that, in narrative Peter was mistaken due to a coincidence of thought and the passive RCR, and out of narrative, that angle of his power has since been changed or evolved. Empathy is pro-active, simple as. It's not a question of whether it's an acurate name cos it's not, actually, it's not a question at all. And Ryan, I actually like the name too, despite what I'm saying, but I don't have to dislike it to admit it's flawed.--Evil Maldini 11:35, 1 February 2010 (EST)
    • Well is the discussion about a perceived flaw in the name, or about renaming the ability? There are a few comments above about renaming the ability. Despite whatever flaws one may see in the name (I don't see any glaring flaws), there won't be any changes to the name since it was given to us explicitly. However, if the discussion is about the flaws people see, then I'll step out of the way and let y'all discuss it. :) -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 16:27, 1 February 2010 (EST)

The nature of Empathic mimicry...

A discussion carried on over from Arthur's page, what exactly is the nature of EM? Over on Arthur's page, it's being said that EM, perhaps due to Suresh's 'sponge' comment, is the only ability Peter ever had- and all the other abilities that Peter mimicked simply changed the nature of his one ability. Technically if this is correct, it would mean that Peter never actually had access to such powers like Telepathy and RCR in the same way that Matt and Claire did, and that every time he used a copied power, the only power he was ever actually using was EM, every time for every borowed power. Now I'm not saying this is correct, but it does raise the question in the light of Arthur's absorbtion- did he absorb 15 abilities from Peter, or just 1, meaning that he, alike Peter, when using these copied powers, was tapping into EM every time. What do people think?--Evil Maldini 08:52, 6 April 2010 (EDT)

  • Mohinder said that Peter's DNA was like a chameleon, changing itself to make room for new abilities. I believe that Peter's original ability allowed him to integrate new abilities to his system, but was still necessary to access it. For example, Peter had empathic mimicry and mimicked telekinesis. From that point on, he had the DNA needed for both abilities, but in order to access telekinesis, he needed empathic mimicry. Think of as expression of a genetic condition. You can have a gene for a determined characteristic, but if the gene isn't expressed, the characteristic doesn't appear. After integrating an ability, EM would function as an on\off switch. When Arthur took it from Peter, he copied all of the abilities stored in the DNA, and used his own ability as an off switch on Peter's EM, meaning Peter could no longer use it as the on switch to his acquired abilities. I think that's what happened based on Matt Jr. using his ability as the on switch on Hiro's ability. I don't know how it would work on Peter, since he took the formula, and that may have done something to the stored abilities, or perhaps changed the lock for an ability key, so to speak. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 09:42, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
    • I think the difference is in the exact usage of EM. I used to think that Peter used his base ability only when making the initial mimic, and after that used the abilities he copied in the same way the original holder would, only Peter had several of course. But if what mc said is true, then Peter doesn't actually have access to Telekinesis at all- only EM, which has re-synched as Suresh was eluding to, to be able to use Telekinetic effects. This could possibly explain why Peter's copied version of an ability is at first and for some time there after less acurate or potent than the original. In this case, Arthur would've absorbed only Peter's loaded EM, as mc suggested, not each ability as an individual, which changes the outlook on things considerably.--Evil Maldini 12:14, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
      • The reason I said about the fact Peter only has one, is that firstly, his ability is empathic mimicry, ie he mimics the ability, not has, and secondly the writers have said and it has been said on here multiple times, people can only have one ability. --mc_hammark 15:42, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
        • In that sense, it would be one jack-of-all-trades ability which can emulate the effects of other abilities, while not necessarily integrating them into the user. It's just a copy. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 15:50, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
          • And if that is the case, then we should list it on Arthur's page, but remove all the others singularily.--Evil Maldini 16:44, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
            • This seems to be confirmed since HRG said Sylar was the only one with multiple powers, but Claude recognized that Peter was "one of those -- an empath".--BOYCOOL -- THE END IS NIGH. 10:36, 11 April 2010 (EDT)
              • I find this discussion very interesting. It kinda bothered when Arthur stole Peter's ability and he acquired all the ones Peter's mimiced, but after reading this and re-watching the chapter in the first volume where Suresh talks about EM it makes more sense. It also makes for the mixing of abilities to be more plausible it Peter's case; for example body insertion could be a mixture of telepathy, phasing... like that discussion indicates, though I am not implying it actually is. --Inblackestnight 15:54, 4 June 2010

I've always thought of Empathic Mimicry as a Lock on a Door. Peters Empathic Mimicry is the Key and then there's a Door with a Lock blocking the power. He has to use EM to use what's inside the door. Alessia1111 13:28, 9 June 2010 (EDT)

I dont think Peter absorbs abilities. Heres how i see it. Peter is near another evolved human. His ability resequences Peter's DNA to match theirs, granting Peter access to their abiities. He doesnt absorb, he mimics. And when he is not in their presence he uses empathy to recreate that DNA resequencing that grants him access to someone's powers. I remember reading somewhere on the Peter page that when he meets his future self he is only exposed to Empathic Mimicry, meaning peter doesnt actually HAVE the mimicked powers, unlike Sylar, but has to reproduce the resequencing to use them. The reason this ability is so powerful is because Empathic mimicry allows Peter's body to remember all previously mimicked abilities, and all he has to do is recall them. User:peterpetrelli15 17:38, 22 October 2011 (EDT)

Another point i was always curious about. Peter's scar. Which leads to Claire's regenerative powers. Ok, so Peter mimics regeneration and heals in Homecoming. He then recalls the ability in distractions. my question is, since rapid cell regeneration is a passive power does Peter have it constantly active once he recalls it? I mean Sylar's ability of Intuitive Aptitude is generally considered passive and Peter seemed to have it constantly active as he was pressed by the hunger, or he seemed under its influence. It has been established that without the ability Sylar isn't affected by the hunger and he only had the hunger in the second season because he still had his ability, he just couldn't access it. Where as when he didnt have the power thanks to the eclipse he didnt have the hunger. So was Peter constantly accessing an ability that long, as IA helps him understand and control powers better. Or was he screwed because it was now constantly active and he couldn't turn it off? I wish they were more clearer on this. Thoughts? User:peterpetrelli15 19:40, 26 September 2011 (EDT)


Did Rene help to develop Peter's ability or could he find another way to develop it? In ability development it said,After Rene erases his mind that he recall his abilities without remember the person who he aquired it off.--50000JH 10:55, 26 April 2010 (EDT)

  • In a sense, yes, he was the pebble that started the rockslide, though one could argue that had Thompson not recruited him, he wouldn't be there etc. etc. which is a large debate in itself (much like the chicken and the egg). I think the memory erasure only helped him to develop it faster, not the direct cause of it. --mc_hammark 11:04, 26 April 2010 (EDT)

Doesn't Sylar have this power too?

Isn't it obvious that Sylar has this power too? He was able to use this power to absorb electricity from Elle. He was born with the same power as Peter, then he absorbed his father's intuitive aptitude. His original power wasn't telekinesis, and it wasn't intuitive aptitude, it was empathic mimicry. It's beautiful really, how he was an innocent kid with the same power as the good guy, and then his father corrupted him. 03:15, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

  • No. Sylar has a similar ability, but not the same ability. See here for a previous discussion on the matter. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 13:15, 24 January 2018 (UTC)