Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

An emotion, or emotional state, is a physical state which can either be a response to an external stimuli or the product of a memory. The state can either be positive or negative. In sentient species, the emotion can trigger a feeling. Emotions can be observed through facial expressions and body language. (TNG: "Shades of Gray", "Data's Day"; ENT: "Unexpected"; Star Trek Generations)

Emotions could be shared during mind melds, a process known as emotional transference. (Star Trek)

In the Milky Way Galaxy, there are creatures which derive their nourishment from emotions. (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

Emotional expression[]

Two species that are well known for suppressing their emotions are the Borg, with an exception of the Queen, and the Vulcans, with exception of the V'tosh ka'tur. (ENT: "Fusion"; SNW: "The Serene Squall"; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Vulcans were by nature a barbaric and savage people who came near self-annihilation, until the Time of Awakening; it was then when Surak preached the way of logic rather than emotion. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "All Our Yesterdays", ENT: "Awakening" and others) Since Vulcans have the capability to exert a level of conscious control over virtually all of their body functions, they can actually manipulate the neural pathways that regulate and receive the balances of neurochemicals involved in emotion. This enables them to inhibit their brain from forming the neural impulses that create conscious emotional mental states, thereby actually suppressing their innate emotions. The psycho-suppression system in the Vulcan brain that endows Vulcans with this ability is located in the mesiofrontal cortex. (VOY: "Meld") The Vulcan ritual, known as the kolinahr, is designed to purge all remaining emotions in a Vulcan. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Spock's emotional reaction to Kirk being alive

Spock's emotional reaction to Kirk being alive

Despite their suppression of emotions, Vulcans still have them, and sometimes their violent nature resurfaces. Spock was vulnerable to polywater intoxication, and when he was infected, he was sobbing, having regretted his inability to express his love for his mother. Spock was also subject to the euphoria-inducing spores of the Omicron Ceti III pod plant. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "This Side of Paradise") The Bendii Syndrome was an illness which makes elderly Vulcans lose their emotional control. (TNG: "Sarek") After a mind meld with Lon Suder, Tuvok's emotional system was traumatized, resulting in him losing some of his own control, becoming dangerous and violent. (VOY: "Meld") In a later point, Tuvok laughed when his identity was erased to make him a laborer on the Quarren homeworld. (VOY: "Workforce") In addition, surprise, combined with strong emotion, made Spock (who was half-Human as well as half-Vulcan) lose control for a brief moment. (TOS: "Amok Time")

Pon farr, which culminated in the plak tow, was a condition where adult Vulcans underwent a neurochemical imbalance, taking on a form of madness and inability to control themselves. It is not however clear if this madness involved inability to suppress emotions.

Contrarily, Humans gave off a multitude of subtle signs that communicated their emotions. Jean-Luc Picard once likened this fact to how "computers make decisions based on inputs." (TNG: "11001001").

Odo has observed that the Bajorans are even less successful than most humanoids in hiding their emotions. (DS9: "Crossfire")

Strong primitive emotions, like hate, can block a telepath's ability to read the mind of a person. As a prisoner of the Talosians, Vina attempted to block the Talosians from reading her mind for years with primitive emotions. Eventually, through fatigue coupled with the determination of her captors, she stopped trying. In 2254, Christopher Pike would, against the advice of Vina, attempt the same tactic against the Talosians. (TOS: "The Cage")

Lore receiving emotion chip

Data's emotion chip inserted into Lore.

Often, robots like the Pralor Automated Personnel Unit or other advanced artificial lifeforms like androids or exocomps can exhibit self-awareness but don't have emotions. An exception was Data, who obtained an emotion chip from his creator, Dr. Noonien Soong, which allowed him to experience Human emotions. (TNG: "Brothers") After receiving the chip in 2371, he was initially unprepared for the unpredictable nature of emotions. However, that after having experienced 261 distinct emotional states, he felt he had learned how to control his feelings. (Star Trek Generations) Although he was able to switch his emotions off he chose to remove the emotion chip in 2375. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

Emotional states[]

Beings that feed on emotion[]

These are all non-corporeal beings.

See also[]

External link[]