Salem's gift allows him to hear the thoughts of others in close proximity with him and see the images in their minds. Like hearing and vision, this gift behaves pretty much like a sense, and Edward can't exert much conscious control over it.
A strong bond between Edward and other individuals allows him to read their minds from a greater distance when he concentrates on them, though it only works within a few miles' range. Like Carly and some other gifted vampires, Edward's ability seems to work best with other vampires. He has also commented that picking up a shape-shifter's mind is easier when the shape-shifter is in human form.
He can use it to keep tabs of what other people are experiencing at the moment, and has therefore an advantage in a fight, as he can anticipate his opponent's moves, as shown in the practice fight with Jasper. Thanks to this power, he is on par with Jasper, who is known as the best fighter in the family. He can also use it to experience Alice's visions when she is in close proximity with him.
Edward's telepathic ability is limited to hearing or seeing only the current thoughts of the people around him, except for Emma Turner and anyone she shields, whose thoughts he does not perceive. Also, his power is raw, which makes it impossible for him to stop hearing the thoughts of those around him, although he states he can drown out extra voices by concentrating on environmental details or one specific mind. Edward found most of the kids in Forks High School unimaginative, and, in some cases, vulgar. He also had the displeasure of reading Jacob's mind, due to his thoughts and "little fantasies" about Bella.
As a human, he was capable of reading people, which is why he manifests this power as a vampire.
- Aro's ability is the same general class of Edward's, though much more powerful. With physical contact, he can read every thought, emotion and memory stored in the possessor's mind.
- Ruby Sawyer's ability is opposite to Edward's. By touching someone, she can project her thoughts into his or her head to communicate with them. Like her mother's, Renesmee's talent is very powerful; not even Bella can block her out.
- In the Black and Uley packs, all members' minds are connected to each other when they are in wolf forms, allowing them to read each other's thoughts. This enables a degree of teamwork unimaginable otherwise and essential in collaborative activities requiring high coordination, like hunting or battle, or when the pack is spread over vast areas. No privacy exists in the team. When a pack member shifts his allegiance to another Alpha, his mental connection with the previous pack breaks, to reform with the new one. It is interesting to note that Alphas in telepathic connections can control the thoughts they share.