Your brain has a wide array of abilities. A very basic one is observational intelligence, or OI. Most importantly, it is the foundation of any sensory intelligence you possess, making it absolutely vital in learning and day-to-day survival.

OI is the ability to quickly sort through any sensory input, such as sights and sounds. A high OI will allow you to notice more things around you, faster. On the abstract level, OI will allow you to notice similarities or differences between experiences in your memory, allowing comparisons over time. Whether your analytical brain is a part of the OI is up for debate.

In everyday life, OI is most noticable in your ability to react and your pace of learning. A high OI will detect changes (or lack thereof) faster, and will allow better analysis of knowledge, simply because it notices more about the topic examined.

OI Training

It is quite possible, even easy, to train your observational intelligence, though it may take time, depending on your personality.

The simplest training method is to take a picture containing a complex scenary, such as a city street or a battle scene. Looking at it, you start writing down or saying out loud (if someone is present to hear you) individual things seen in the picture, like an old woman or a fighter airplane. This continues, but the level of obscurity is constantly pushed, so that more and more obscure things are noticed (a potted plant broken against the street in a distant shadow, a downed pilot being dragged out of the water in a small liferaft), until you are noticing things so small or hidden, that no one in their right mind would see them. Continued examination of the picture over several days can reveal more and more details, forcing your brain to push its observational intelligence further and further.

The same procedure can be used with other forms of input, such as music (notice background instruments or changes in beat) or even smells (common practice in wine tasting). The bad news is, that OI always works through either a sensory intelligence or memory, requiring these to be of a certain level. However, the training will also affect any sensory intelligence being applied.