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Influencers are Alphas, who are able to disrupt the specific neural pathways in the cerebral cortex that leave the brain vulnerable to suggestion. In short: They always get what they want.
When human beings make decisions, they rely on sensory data and memory to give them the information to make the best decision for a situation. Influencers are able to override this system, providing their data as the most important, biasing the target's decision-making. The observed mechanisms (so far) for influencers are eye contact, speech, and touch.
Eye contact is an intense human activity. By locking eyes, a person has to focus almost entirely on the other person, focusing all sensory neural energy on their partner. Studies have shown that the brain closely monitors the microexpressions of the human face, diverting most of its energy to the task. An influencer can flood the target's sensory inputs with only its intended data. With no other sensory data, the person has to make decisions based on the influencer's commands.
Speech is one of the basic human interactions. Like eye contact, the brain prioritizes the analysis of speech. Tone, pace, vocabulary, and other characteristics make listening to speech a energy-intensive neural activity. The influencer can modulate their voice to overwhelm any other sensory data the target may be taking in. Their voice then projects a context of extreme confidence, making the target sure of the alpha's command.
Touch between humans is an intimate exchange. Alongside the societal vulnerability of allowing someone to touch you, there are chemical reactions that only occur during human contact. Oxytocin, a neurochemical associated with happiness and trust, is released when human-to-human touch occurs. Alphas with touch-associated influencing ability can flood the target's brain with oxytocin, making them susceptible to suggestion.
Influencers have addictive personalities and are extremely comfortable with their abilities. Influencer often use their strengths at the wrong time and sometimes take others for granted.
Known Influencers and specific powers
- Nina Theroux can influence, or "push", others into doing what she wills them to.
- The Ghost is like Nina, but his ability is initiated by touching the intended target rather than just making eye contact.
- Jonas can stimulate the pineal gland, leading to a drug-like feeling of peace (compared to speedballing). Those affected see lights, holy visions, and are subsequently easy to influence.
- Kimi Milard appears to use whispering, complete with a kiss as a hypnotic trigger to influence others.
- Jason Miller, after his abilities are enhanced by the photic stimulator, can touch people to add them to his collective consciousness (like a hive mind), making them obey his every command. He has no known limit to how many people he decides to control.
- Vincent uses his influencer ability exclusively while his victims are in a dreamlike state, creating and controlling the environment.